June 21, 2018

Justice Department Files Complaint Against Food Distributors Euroline Foods and Royal Seafood Baza

The United States Department of Justice of the Eastern District of New York has filed a civil complaint in a federal court in Brooklyn, seeking to permanently enjoin Euroline Foods, LLC, and Royal Seafood Baza, Inc., for violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. The complaint was filed at the request of the FDA.

Civil Complaint Euroline Foods Royal Seafood Baza

The suit alleges that those facilities processed and distributed ready-t0-eat fish and fishery products, vegetable salads, and cheese products in a facility that was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. The complaint states that the defendants “failed to put in place adequate measures to reduce the risk of health hazards such as L. monocytogenes, Clostridium botulinum, and scombrotoxin.”

United States Attorney Donoghue said in a statement, “Food processors and distributors must identify and eliminate food safety hazards and develop meaningful plans for preventing such hazards in order to protect consumers. Those who fail to do so must come into compliance or be shut down.  We have, and will continue, to use all means at our disposal to protect the public from the dangers of harmful pathogenic bacteria, including bacteria that cause listeriosis and other serious illnesses.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division said, “Listeria monocytogenes presents a significant danger to public health and can prove fatal to vulnerable individuals. The food consumers purchase must be safe to eat, and we will continue to work with FDA to take action against companies that refuse to improve dangerously substandard practices.”

Three FDA inspections of the facility in March 2015, February to March 2016, and November to December 2016, as well as follow-up investigations in November 2017, uncovered Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point violations. A warning letter was issued to Royal Seafood in 2015, and FDA inspections in 2016 fond Listeria contamination in several areas of that facility.

The complaint seeks an order to permanently enjoin the defendants from violating the FDCA and to stop them from manufacturing or distributing food unless they comply with specific remedial measures.

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