7 April 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Marcos Daniel Jiménez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced today that the United States Attorney’s Office filed on March 30, 2005, a civil complaint against defendant, Sea Specialities, Inc., d/b/a Florida Smoked Fish Company, and four (4) of its officers seeking to enjoin them from introducing into interstate commerce food that is unsafe for human consumption. The officers named as defendants in the lawsuit are Harvey Oxenberg, Arnold Richman, Brian Oxenberg, and Irvin C. Norfleet. A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled for April 26, 2005 before United States District Court Judge James Lawrence King.
Sea Specialities, Inc. processes and distributes air and vacuum-packed, ready-to-eat smoked fish products at 1111 N.W. 159th Drive, Miami, Florida. The company receives frozen raw fish, which it processes into ready-to-eat smoked fish. The ready-to-eat smoked fish is then delivered to Georgia, California, and Pennsylvania.
As alleged in the complaint, inspections conducted by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the State of Florida’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services have revealed significant deficiencies in Sea Specialties, Inc.’s operations. The State of Florida’s inspection in January 2005 disclosed a sample of baked salmon salad and sample of finished smoked nova salmon, which tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes. In February 2005, the State of Florida’s inspections found that up to 25% of all finished product at Sea Specialities, Inc. tested positive for Listeria monocytogenes.
Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterial contaminant that proliferates in ready-to-eat smoked fish which is processed under insanitary conditions. It causes listeriosis, an illness that rarely causes symptoms in healthy individuals, but can adversely affect pregnant women by causing miscarriages and stillbirths.
The United States seeks to compel Sea Specialties, Inc. to cease processing, preparing, and distributing all ready-to-eat smoked fish unless and until Sea Specialties, Inc.’s operations are brought into compliance with the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and FDA regulations.
Mr. Jiménez commended the investigative efforts of the United States Food and Drug Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Maureen Donlan and Aimee Jimenez.
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 .