Earlier this week, a federal judge from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordered a Los Angeles, California seafood manufacturing company to shut down its operation until it’s cleaned up.
According to papers filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, the facility in question, owned by Neptune Manufacturing Inc., produces and distributes ready-to-eat smoked and pickled seafood products. The plant has been inspected at least seven times by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) since 2006, and each inspection uncovered what they referred to as “unsanitary conditions.” More specifically, during four inspections, they found the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, and three times, they discovered a failure to control for Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin formation.
Listeria can lead to serious illness or even death, especially in specific population groups, such as the elderly and very small children, as well as those with weak or compromised immune systems. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to Listeria, because it’s possible to pass Listeriosis on to her newborn, and the illness is fatal to between 25 and 50 percent of newborns.
Clostridium botulinum toxin can lead to botulism, a relatively rare but potentially very dangerous illness. If not treated immediately, the initial symptoms of droopy eyelids, blurry or double vision or a dry and sore throat can cause paralysis and death within a very short time.
According to the permanent injunction filed against the company and its owners, the plant must stop producing its product until they can prove that they have taken specific steps to bring the plant into compliance with the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
While no illnesses have been reported as yet that have been linked to products produced by Neptune Manufacturing, Inc., the FDA is taking the potential danger of their failure clean up their facility and improve their processes seriously, because failure to do so “endangers the public.”
If you or a loved one has become sick or even died after consuming any potentially tainted food product, please contact the extremely knowledgeable Texas Food Poisoning Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm as soon as possible, to protect your rights under the law.