March 25, 2014
Three New York importers of fish and fishery products have a lot in common. Their dried filefish, dried anchovy fish, and herring filets were all refused entry into the U.S. based on testing by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) laboratories. Then FDA inspected their facilities and sent them warning letters calling for immediate correction of violations.
FDA’s New York District Office sent warning letters earlier this month to the three fish importers in Brooklyn and Queens over concern that their products were not being processed under the same conditions required of domestic producers.
On March 6, FDA District Director Ron Pace wrote Peter K. Lam and Anh K. Ngo, co-owners of the Hong Lee Trading Company in Brooklyn, and Chel D. Chang, owner of the Han Sung Sikpoom Trading Company in the Ridgewood neighborhood of Queens. On March 7, Pace sent a third warning letter to Ira Pichkhadze, owner of Russian Products Inc. in Brooklyn.
The warning letters told the owners that their seafood importing companies are in serious violation of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulations. Specifically, each was told they must provide evidence that the fish and fishery products they bring into the U.S. have been processed “under conditions that are equivalent to those required of domestic processors …”