21 April – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced today that on April 14, 2005, United States District Court Senior Judge James Lawrence King entered a consent decree of permanent injunction against defendants, SeaSpecialties, Inc., d/b/a, Florida Smoked Fish Company; company director and president Harvey Oxenberg; and company officers Arnold Richman, Brian Oxenberg, and Irvin C. Norfleet. The consent decree, which was signed and agreed to by all defendants, prohibits the defendants from distributing food that is unsafe for human consumption and requires them to cease operations at their Miami facility until it is properly sanitized and they otherwise comply with the terms imposed by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the consent decree.
SeaSpecialties, Inc. produces and distributes, in Florida and nation-wide, several ready-to-eat smoked salmon and other fish products to wholesalers, cruise ships, restaurants, and retailers, including certain grocery store chains. The fish products are distributed under several brand names, including SeaSpecialties, Mama’s, Marshall’s, and The Boy’s Farmer’s Market. SeaSpecialties’ Miami facility is located at 1111 N.W. 159th Drive, Miami, Florida.
In the civil complaint filed on March 30, 2005, against SeaSpecialties, Inc. and the individually-named officers, the United States alleged that inspections conducted by the FDA revealed significant deficiencies in SeaSpecialties’ operations, causing its food to be adulterated in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and FDA regulations.
Laboratory tests recently conducted by the State of Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services revealed the presence of listeria monocytogenes in a variety of fish products produced at the Miami facility. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacteria that grows under insanitary conditions and can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, persons with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women. While the bacteria usually causes mild symptoms in healthy people, such as high fever, headaches, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, it can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the United States Food and Drug Administration, particularly its Florida District Office, as well as the State of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Bureau of Food and Meat Inspection.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.