October 16, 2017

The Smokehouse of NY Closed By Permanent Injunction

The Smokehouse of NY, LLC entered a consent decree of permanent injunction on June 29, 2017, after a federal judge ordered them to stop selling their products until it can comply with food safety regulations. According to the FDA, the facility was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Gavels

Melinda K. Plaisier, FDA Associate Commissioner for Regulatory Affairs said in a statement, “The Smokehouse of NY had several opportunities to come into compliance with the law. Through the use of modern technology, the FDA was able to establish that the company has resident strains of L. mono in its facility that it has consistently failed to eradicate. Conditions like these are unacceptable and the FDA took action to protect Americans.”

The complaint listed a long history of recurring food safety violations at that facility. A Warning Letter was issued by the FDA in August 2011, stating they found Listeria in the facility and in the company’s cold-smoked salmon. There were violations of the seafood Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point regulations and the Current Good Manufacturing Practice regulations for food.

More inspections in 2013 and 2015 found Listeria in the facility. Smokehouse said they would address and correct the poor conditions, but those plans were not implemented consistently, according to the FDA. Investigators then found widespread Listeria monocytogenes in the facility during an inspection in April 2017. Poor sanitation practices, including inadequate employee handwashing, improper disinfection practices and a failure to prevent cross-contamination between raw, in-process and finished products were also observed. Whole genome sequencing was used to identify the persistent strains of Listeria.

To start producing again, the defendants must retain an independent lab to collect and analyze samples of Listeria found at the plant, retain an independent expert and develop a program to control the bacteria, and eliminate insanitary conditions at the facility. FDA will maintain oversight over these operations and may order more action if there are violations.

No illnesses have been reported to date from any person who has eaten those products. But if anyone who has consumed the products from The SmokeHouse, and who has exhibited the symptoms of listeriosis, should contact their doctor. Those symptoms include high fever, stiff neck, serious headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

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