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Indonesian Tuna Continues To Be A Problem For FDA United States, December 10, 12

U.S. authorities rejected 35 tuna products at the border last month because they appeared to fail American food safety standards, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The majority of the products were shipped from Indonesia and they appeared to be “unfit for food,” prepared under insanitary conditions, or appeared to contain salmonella.

One Indonesian company, from Jakarta, exported a total of 17 risky products in November on two separate occasions. On Nov. 1, U.S. authorities refused its frozen yellowfin tuna fillets, strips and ground meat, in addition to its Ahi tuna steaks and ground meat. Two weeks later, on Nov. 14, the company’s frozen tuna steaks, saku, loins and ground meat similarly did not pass the border inspection. The primary problem was that the products appeared to have been “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions,” while the Ahi tuna steaks and ground meat also appeared to contain salmonella.

Another company, from Flores, Indonesia, sent eight different products of frozen yellowfin tuna that were denied entry because they appeared to “consist in whole or in part of a filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or be otherwise unfit for food.” This included steaks, saku tuna, ground meat and skinless tuna belly.

A company from Muang Phuket, Thailand was also affected last month, as it sent a range of frozen tuna steaks, cubes, saku blocks, and nakaochi that appeared to contain salmonella. In total, the Thai company shipped eight products that U.S. authorities deemed to be unsafe for eating.

Two products from a processor in Trinidad and Tobago were also refused at the U.S. border in November. The company’s fresh yellowfin and fresh bigeye tuna appeared to “consist in whole or in part of a filthy, putrid, or decomposed substance or be otherwise unfit for food,” according to the FDA.

The FDA is authorized to detain a product at the border that appears to violate the national Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. If the owner fails to submit evidence that shows the product is in compliance or fails to submit a plan to bring the product up to standard, the product then must be exported or destroyed within 90 days.