After Fuji Food Products issued a Listeria  recall for sushi sold under Trader Joe’s and Okami brand names a few months ago, the FDA inspected the company’s facility in Brockton, MA and conditions they found there prompted the agency to issue a warning letter. The company agreed to cease operations until these issues were adequately addressed

Listeria Recall for Trader Joe’s, Okami Sushi

The recall, issued November 27, 2019, included sushi, salads ad spring rolls sold in plastic trays with clear lids at stores on the East Coast and the Upper Midwest. The recall came during the FDA’s inspection of the Brockton facility conducted November 12, 2019 through December 4, 2019.

During that inspection, FDA investigators found food safety violations and collected environmental samples from areas throughout the facility. Testing on these samples was positive for Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne pathogen that can cause illness and death.

Symptoms of a Listeria infection, called listeriosis, can take up to two months to develop. They include high fever, severe headache, muscle aches or muscle stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Among pregnant women, Listeria can cause miscarriage and stillbirth.


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After the inspection, the FDA provided the company with a report summarizing the findings and timeline to address the problems. After reviewing the company’s response, the FDA found it lacking and issued a warning letter.

A Listeria Problem a Fuji Food Products

In the letter, the FDA reveals that 32 of the samples it collected from the Brockton facility were positive for Listeria, 10 of them from food-contact surfaces.  More troubling was the revelation that this was not the first time the FDA has found Listeria at the facility. According to genetic tests performed on those samples, the same strain was present in seven samples the FDA collected during and April 2019 inspection, five of which were on food contact surfaces.
Listeria Lawyer- Laboratory Gloved Hand Holding a Petri Dish

“The reoccurring presence of [Listeria] monocytogenes in your facility is significant in that it demonstrates your sanitation efforts are inadequate to effectively control pathogens on your processing equipment and in your facility to prevent contamination of food. Our findings indicate that your firm is neither achieving satisfactory control against the presence of L. monocytogenes within your facility nor implementing effective methods and controls to eliminate this human pathogen or minimize exposure to food and food-contact surfaces,” the warning letter reads in part.

When Fuji Food Products suggested that it move its processing operations to its other facility in Sante Fe Springs, CA, the FDA expressed concern that the company’s cleaning and sanitizing measures were so inadequate that it risk simply spreading the bacteria to a new location.

Pritzker Hageman’s Listeria lawyers represent clients nationwide. If you have been sickened by contaminated food, contact us today by calling 1(888) 377-8900 (toll-free), texting 612-261-0856 or by completing the form below.

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