Following up on repeated violations, the FDA files a lawsuit against Pacific Shellfish Inc. with the intent to close the seafood processing plant. Authorities performing inspections in 2004 and 2005 found unsanitary conditions and bacteria-contaminated food and equipment.
Authorities identified the bacteria as Listeria which can be transmitted through uncooked fish or meat products and can even be passed onto cooked food by contact with unsanitary materials.
Listeria can cause Listeriosis. Common symptoms include fever, headache, diarrhea, and muscle/joint pain. Listeriosis can lead to meningitis, brain infection, birth problems or even death. There are approximately 2000 Listeriosis cases reported in the U.S. each year with a death rate of 20-30%. Newborn infants, pregnant women, the elderly and immunosuppressed patients are most commonly affected by this disease.
Pacific Shellfish, a San Diego, California company, sells seafood such as Halibut, Albacore Tuna, Rockfish, Shark, Swordfish, White Seabass, Yellowtail, Spiny Lobster, and Oysters to restaurants, hotels and specialty markets.