November 16, 2019

FDA Suspends Topway/Kazy’s Gourmet Food Facility Registration

Last week Food Poisoning Bulletin told you about the FDA warning retailers in Texas and Louisiana to stop selling Topway/Kazy’s Gourmet salmon and tuna for sushi for possible Listeria monocytogenes contamination. On July 22, 2019, the FA suspended the food facility registration of the company, after seizure sanitation issues were found at that venue. Inspectors found Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in that facility.

FDA Suspends Topway/Kazy's Gourmet Food Facility Registration

Frank Yiannas, FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response said in a statement “The FDA and the Texas DSHS have documented a pattern of food safety violations at the Topway facility as well as an unwillingness and disregard by the company to cease operations and correct severe violations at their facility. Topway’s unsafe practices not only violated the law, but also jeopardized the health of consumers as the company continued to knowingly distribute food products likely to be contaminated with Listeria for public consumption.”

The company has not implemented adequate corrective actions at the facility. This is the sixth time that the FDA has suspended a facility’s registration since receiving authority under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act.

The alert told restaurants and food retailers to stop selling Topway’s ready-to-eat seafood products and tells consumers to ask their retailer about where raw salmon and tuna they have purchased was sourced. Any consumer who thinks they may have purchased or eaten Topway products should discard them.

The FDA first inspected the Topway facility in February. They observed “egregious sanitation deficiencies” and issued an FDA Form 483 to document observations. According to the report, there was “poor employee sanitation and production practices and significant facility deficiencies, such as cracked and uncleanable floors in the high-traffic areas such as the production and fish cooler rooms, pools of black water on the fish cooler floors, uncleaned utensils used to process seafood, fish particles on production room walls, and an accumulation of residues on seafood processing tables.”

A follow-up compliance inspection was conducted June 24 through July 3, 2019. No corrections had been implemented. Inspectors collected four environmental swabs that tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.

On July 3, the company was notified of FDA findings. They agreed to cease operations and recall products. But Topway continued production by operating in a temporary location where it moved equipment and personnel to process seafood for sale.

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