A plate of fish balls. // Photo by Joy Osity/Flickr

FDA Files Complaint Against Fishy Food Factory in LIC

By Evan Rosen

The FDA found some fishy food handling practices at a Long Island City processing plant and now the Department of Justice is shutting them down.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requested that the DOJ file a formal complaint to stop the Foo Yuan Food Products Company of LIC from continuing to distribute its products, which include ready-to-eat fish balls, fried fish cakes and fried fish balls. The facility is located on Borden Avenue near the Newtown Creek.

The FDA said the products were at risk of containing deadly bacteria such as Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes.

“The Department of Justice has asked the Court to stop the defendants from processing, packaging or distributing any more food until they establish that they can comply with federal laws and regulations designed to avert those health risks,” said United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “Today’s action demonstrates our commitment to protecting the public from potentially contaminated food.”

The FDA previously inspected Foo Yuan in 2014 and 2016 before conducting a third inspection from December 2017 to January 2018.

At each inspection, the FDA said there were noticeable deficiencies such as the failure to maintain clean “contact sources” and a failure to ensure that all workers who come into contact with the food practiced good hygiene.

A 2015 warning letter from the FDA to Foo Yuan outlines several “serious violations” of seafood handling regulations.

The complaint further alleges that Foo Yuan violated the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, by introducing contaminated food into the marketplace and allowing the products to become contaminated while awaiting sale.

Foo Yuan owner and president Hsing Chang and secretary Susan Chang were also listed in the complaint.

“The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that food processors comply with laws designed to ensure food safety,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the FDA to ensure that Americans are protected from potentially unsafe food.”

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