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FDA Files Public Health Injunction Against Blue Ocean Smokehouse

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) is pursuing enforcement action against a California fish processor because of a risk of botulism and other food poisoning hazards. If granted, the permanent injunction against Fujino Enterprises Inc., doing business as Blue Ocean Smokehouse, would stop the company from processing and distributing fish. The injunction alleges that the company’s products are adultered because they are processed under conditions that do not comply with the FDA’s Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations.

Free Food Poisoning Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been severely sickened after eating contaminated food, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a food poisoning suit and we can help.

What’s the problem?

March 29, 2012 – In addition to failing to comply to HACCP, the FDA is alleging that Blue Ocean’s products are adultered because the conditions under which they are processed fail to conform to Current Good Manufacturing Practice (CGMP) requirements. An October 2011 FDA inspection uncovered below standard sanitation practices, and showed that the Blue Ocean facility was not maintained in a manner that protected against food contamination.

“This company has ignored warnings by FDA and the California Department of Public Health by continuing to sell seafood that puts consumers’ health at risk,” said Dara A. Corrigan, associate commissioner for regulatory affairs. “We are taking this action, in part, as a result of collaborative enforcement actions with our state partner and as part of our joint efforts to protect the public health.”

Blue Ocean processes fish products including salmon, cod, halibut, Wild King Salmon Candy, hot-smoked tuna, sturgeon and hot-smoked fish cream cheese spreads. The company receives these products from out of state, including salmon from Washington state and sturgeon from Oregon.

According to the FDA, Blue Ocean’s smoked fish products have the potential to contain the Clostridium botulinum toxin, one of the most potent, lethal nerve toxins known to man. FDA inspectors also found Listeria monocytogenes on surfaces in the food processing areas of Blue Ocean’s facility. Listeria food poisoning (listeriosis) can cause fatal infections in children, the elderly, and those with otherwise compromised immune systems. Additionally, the company’s tuna products may pose a risk for the development of scombrotoxin (histamine), a rare foodborne pathogen that can cause an illness known as scombrotoxin poisoning.

Blue Ocean’s repeated violations led to the destruction of nearly 1,500 pounds of hot-and-cold smoked fish in October 2011. The FDA filed its injunction against the company on March 13, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. To date, no illnesses have been reported in connection with Blue Ocean’s products.

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Free Food Poisoning Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been severely sickened after eating contaminated food, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a food poisoning suit and we can help.

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