Congressional Seafood is distributing its products on a normal basis, with the FDA's approval. (Photo: Congressional Seafood Company/FIS)
Congressional Seafood resumes operations
Monday, January 18, 2010, 09:30 (GMT + 9)
A Maryland seafood processor delivering fresh, frozen and ready-to-eat seafood in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Washington, DC said it resumed normal operations on Thursday. In its issued release, it said that it now meets the federal and state reporting guidelines required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA last week had announced that it ordered Congressional Seafood Company Inc to stop processing and distributing its seafood for having committed violations of federal food safety laws.
Congressional Seafood has received, “Approval of the FDA-required Seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) plans – an FDA management system in which food safety is addressed from production to consumption – as well as approval to be in compliance with its SSOP and Importer Verification Procedure,” it said in its statement.
The FDA warned Congressional Seafood last May of “inadequate required documentation of certain food handling procedures and sanitation verification standards.” Since then, the firm said it has been making efforts to fix the problems that were purportedly caused by an administrative error under prior leadership.
“Unfortunately our internal administrative errors have caused confusion and in some cases concern to some of our customers. We have worked nearly 15 years delivering high-quality product and service to a trusted customer based and we are been proud of our track record,” said Stanley Pearlman, President of Congressional Seafood.
“In the future, we are committed to working even harder to re-establish and strengthen that trust again as we continue to be a leading seafood supplier in the mid-Atlantic,” he added.
The company affirmed it has taken measures to make sure all FDA requirements are and will continue to be met. It recently set up a new management structure and is working with an third party seafood inspector from the US Department of Commerce Seafood Inspection Programme approved by the FDA to conduct random audits of its food handling practices and appraise its record-keeping to ensure federal and state compliance, WBAL Radio reports.
The company’s new HACCP team now has new leadership and it has taken the USDC-HACCP Seafood Certification Programme. Three company officials have enrolled for this month’s FDA course.
“We realize these errors in reporting and communications have caused unnecessary inconvenience for many of our valued customers. Congressional Seafood remains committed to ensuring the highest quality and safety standards in the seafood industry,” Pearlman recognised.
His firm said it has invested in modernising its facility with environmentally responsible construction and design and the highest sanitary measures possible in its packing and cutting room.
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