Houston, Texas - A federal court permanently enjoined a Houston, Texas, company from processing and distributing adulterated seafood products in violation of federal law, the Department of Justice announced Friday.
The entered consent decree of permanent injunction follows an August 2019 complaint filed by the Department for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The complaint alleged that Topway Enterprises, doing business as Kazy’s Gourmet, and the principals of the business, Jeff Liao, Ying Chen, and Adwin Liao, sold ready-to-eat fish and fishery products in a facility with serious insanitary conditions. Specifically, the complaint alleged that FDA inspections found that the defendants failed to adequately control the growth of Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono) at their facility.
The defendants agreed to settle the litigation by the entered consent decree of permanent injunction. As part of the settlement, the defendants must comply with specific remedial measures set forth in the injunction. In addition, the settlement provides safeguards to ensure that future processing of ready-to-eat raw fish at the defendants’ facility comports with the requirements of the law. The filing of the complaint and agreed settlement follows FDA’s decision in July 2019 to exercise its authority under federal law to suspend the defendants’ food facility registration. The complaint alleges that, since the suspension, the defendants have taken positive steps to correct the problems at their facility.
“The Department of Justice is committed to enforcing laws designed to ensure that the food we put on our tables is safe,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “We will continue to work with the FDA to take steps necessary to protect the public from potentially unsafe food.”
“One of our many important enforcement priorities is to help ensure food is safe,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. “This action will help ensure compliance with federal law and FDA rules and regulations. I’m glad we were able to reach this resolution.”
“After documenting food safety violations at the Topway facility, the FDA took action to suspend Topway’s food facility registration, which prohibits the company from selling or distributing food from the facility into commerce,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response Frank Yiannas. “We are happy the company is taking steps to correct the severe problems at their facility and the FDA continues to work with the company as it brings its facility into compliance.”
This matter was handled by Trial Attorney Joshua D. Rothman of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch, with the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew A. Bobb of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas and Senior Counsel Barbara Alkalay of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of the Chief Counsel.