Ocean Beauty plants searched for records

Posted: Thursday, December 11, 2008

JUNEAU - Three Ocean Beauty Seafoods Inc. plants were closed Tuesday morning while federal agents searched company records, according to the company.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents were looking for records related to a shipment of frozen seafood imported in late 2007, the company's public relations firm said in a statement.

Plants in Monroe, Wash., Seattle and Los Angeles were shut down for the morning and resumed operations later in the day.

Ocean Beauty's seven shoreside plants in Alaska were not affected by the search. In Southeast, the company has plants in Petersburg and Excursion Inlet.

The statement did not say why the shipment interested the agents.

Calls to the FDA on the matter were referred to U.S. assistant attorney Patricia Lally in Seattle, who declined to comment.

"Food safety is too important for us not to take this seriously, and we are doing so," said Mark Palmer, Ocean Beauty president and CEO, in a statement.

Ocean Beauty has three manufacturing plants in the Lower 48, nine fresh-fish distribution facilities in the western U.S., and sales offices in Seattle and Tokyo, according to the company.

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