"A Scottish fish farming plant, whose workers complained of a mystery illness, had been reprimanded by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for "serious violations" of food safety rules on pesticides in salmon," reports Rob Edwards in The Sunday Herald (28 October).
"A processing plant at Connel, in Argyll, which is run by Scottish Sea Farms, was warned by the FDA in March that it was in breach of US federal regulations," continued The Sunday Herald (28 October). "Your firm's aquaculture farmed salmon appear to be adulterated," the FDA said, "in that the products have been prepared, packed, or held under conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health."
The Sunday Herald continued:
"Staff at Scottish Sea Farms site in Connel, left their posts on October 11 after feeling ill and coughing and vomiting," reported Fish Update (24 October). "One Scottish Sea Farms employee, who did not wish to be named, said the sickness had been ongoing for ‘two to three’ weeks."
In March 2012, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned Scottish Sea Farms following inspection failures at the same processing plant in South Shian, Connel. "Your firm’s aquaculture farmed salmon appear to be adulterated, in that the products have been prepared, packed, or held under conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health," warned the FDA's Division of Enforcement.
The FDA warning letter - known as a FDA Form 483 - also included:
The FDA warning letter concluded:
Read the FDA's warning letter to Scottish Sea Farms in full online here
"The FDA Form 483 notifies the company’s management of objectionable conditions," states the FDA's web-site. "Companies are responsible to take corrective action to address the cited objectionable conditions and any related non-cited objectionable conditions that might exist."
During a visit to the Scottish Sea Farms processing plant and salmon farm in Loch Creran in April 2012, the following photos were taken:
View more photos of the Scottish Sea Farms processing plant by a French photojournalist online here
Back in 2003, the FDA banned imports of Scottish farmed salmon due to contamination with listeria and classified Scottish farmed salmon as "filthy" and "insanitary". The Sunday Herald reported:
In 2008, the FDA issued an "Enforcement Report" and recall for Marine Harvest Scotland's farmed salmon due to contamination with petroleum:
"Marine Harvest Scotland (Ltd), the fish supplier, said the diesel may have come from a well boat used to transport the fish from a farm to a processing plant," reported Breaking News in February 2008. "In a statement, Marine Harvest said: “Some batches of salmon from Marine Harvest Scotland, harvested in early February, have a risk of a petroleum taint causing an unpleasant taste."
The following chains withdrew products: Asda, Booths, Budgens, Co-op, Morrisons, Nisa-Today, Sainsbury’s, ShopRite, Somerfield and Tesco. "Sainsbury’s has been hit particularly hard by the contamination, recalling 18 of its products," reported Breaking News (February 2008). "In a statement yesterday the supermarket said: “Due to a potential taint in some salmon products from one of our suppliers, as a precautionary measure we have removed from sale a number of lines because the taint affects the taste. Sainsbury’s is committed to the highest standards and we can reassure our customers that there is no risk to health whatsoever from inadvertently eating affected products.”
BBC News (February 2008) reported:
The Guardian reported (February 2008): "Tesco said: "We want to reassure customers that there is no danger to their health from these products - they just won't taste particularly good."
Read more about Marine Harvest's sickly salmon on sale in supermarkets in Canada via "Marine Harvest Bugged by Flesh-Eating Parasite"
The salmon farming industry is still reeling from the deaths in the Netherlands due to salmonella-infected smoked salmon. The Dutch health agency warned earlier this month that the death toll - linked to contaminated Norwegian farmed salmon in a Greek processing plant operated by Foppen - could reach 17 with 10,000 people infected.
Following the deaths of three people and the infected population rising to 950 victims, the Dutch media reported last week that one hundred people were now seeking compensation. "Foppen Pays Salmonella Victims of Salmon" reported (20 October) NU.
Dutch TV also reported from outside Foppen's processing plant in the Netherlands. "Damage salmon salmonella victims compensated" reported ZIE TV (20 October. "Victims of salmonella infected salmon get their damages compensated. That commitment has injury specialist Yme Drost received from the insurer of visfabrikant Foppen, he told Saturday" (Translation via Google Translate).
More background via "Sicko Salmon - ABC News on "Horrible" Norwegian Farmed Salmon"
Earlier this week (24 October), the Dutch media reported that the Safety Board of the Netherlands was launching an investigation into the salmonella outbreak in farmed salmon.
"The Safety Board launched an investigation into the salmonella outbreak," reported EVMI (24 October). "The reason for this research is the chain volume and pattern of infection. The research of the Council focuses on how Foppen as part of the chain of food production with the risk of Salmonella contamination is handled. It also examines how the government and the outbreak Foppen have addressed and combated. The Council aims to improve safety in the Netherlands by the underlying causes of the incident to find out. This can prevent a recurrence."
GAAIA will be visiting various Scottish Sea Farms sites across Scotland in November - for more details see online here
Public meetings include one in Ullapool on 12 November - download poster online here