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FDA looks to close down seafood processor

A civil complaint has been filed against the Californian company and its president.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is looking to shutdown a seafood processor in California for consistently failing to comply with seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

According to Food Quality News, a civil complaint was leveled against Michel Cordon Bleu Inc. of Los Angeles and its owner and president Michel G. Blanchet.

Michel Cordon Bleu (MCBleu) prepares, processes, packs, holds and distributes vacuum-packed, ready-to-eat cold and hot smoked fish products including smoked salmon, trout and sturgeon.

It receives raw fish from outside of California, including salmon from Florida and trout from Idaho, and about 70 percent of its items are sold to distributors, 25 percent to restaurants, hotels and retailers and 5 percent to cruise ship lines.

Over the years nothing has changed at the company in terms of manufacturing, processing and record-keeping, despite laws surrounding these issues constantly evolving.

Selling the company

“Michel Blanchet is now 70 years of age and has realized that he is not fit to keep up with all of these changes, so he has sold all of his assets and brand rights that are in conjunction with MCBleu to a firm that will rebuild the process ensuring that all of these processes are fully compliant with all new and future requirements mandated by government food safety organizations,” the company told Food Quality News.

The sale has not yet been finalized so the takeover company has not been named.

The complaint alleges that seafood products are adulterated due to unsanitary operating conditions where they may have become contaminated with filth or pose a health risk.

The Department of Justice filed the complaint at the request of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FDA has inspected Michel Cordon Bleu’s facility nine times since 1998 including twice in 2016.

The complaint alleges that defendants did not comply with seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations by…failing to adequately control the risk of Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum toxin formation in their vacuum-packed fish or fishery products.

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