December 4, 2014 — The FDA has shut down Neptune Manufacturing, Inc., a Los Angles seafood processor, for failing to clean up unsanitary conditions that have persisted for at least eight years.
According to the announcement, the agency has inspected Neptune on seven occasions since 2006, and found repeated violations of food safety laws on every occasion.
On at least four occasions, the facility tested positive for bacteria that can cause life-threatening food poisoning, including botulism and listeriosis:
“FDA investigators found the pathogenic bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) on four occasions at the facility. FDA investigators also found a failure to control for Clostridium botulinum (C. bot) growth and toxin formation on at least three occasions.”
U.S. District Judge S. James Otero signed an injunction, ordering the company to stop processing and shipping products until they come into compliance with the law. Neptune must hire an independent lab to test for Listeria, develop HAACP plans, and ensure all fish longer than 5-inches are eviscerated before they are salted.
Neptune sells smoked and pickled seafood products in California and Las Vegas.
No illnesses have been reported, but Listeria can cause life-threatening food poisoning — especially in people with weak immune systems and pregnant women, who may suffer a miscarriage or stillbirth. Botulism, a rare type of food poisoning, can cause paralysis and death.
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