Food Safety News reports that Federal officials are seeking a court order to stop a smoked fish operation from selling food because of repeated Listeria problems at its Westchester County, NY, facility.
Known as The Smokehouse of New York, the business owned by Panagiota Soublis is in the municipality of Mamaroneck, NY. It uses Oprah Winfrey’s face on its much of its packaging because she included one of its products on her 2014 “My Favorite Things” list. The company has retail locations and sells its products nationwide on the internet.
In April this year the company recalled 10 smoked fish products after inspectors from the Food and Drug Administration found Listeria monocytogenes in its warehouse. The April 12 recall notice states the company shut down operations and was working with the FDA to resolve the situation.
The company, founded in 2011 and initially known as La Maree Smokehouse, recalled several smoked fish products in 2011 because FDA tests showed finished product was contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. At that same March 2011 inspection, environmental swab tests of food-contact and non-food contact surfaces also tested positive for the potentially deadly pathogen.
In August 2011 the FDA issued a warning letter to the company, citing failure to correct Listeria-related problems discovered during inspections in February and March that year.
“Your corrective actions do not correct the cause of the deviation, e.g., discontinue use of supplier or carrier until evidence is obtained that transportation practices have changed,” according to the 2011 warning letter.
The FDA archives show the agency did not issue a closeout letter in relation to the violations observed in 2011. Reports related to FDA inspections in the following years, including the visit earlier this year that spurred the April recall, have not been made public by FDA.