FDA Warns Expensive Restaurant in New York over Seafood Importation Violation

Credits: Masa website

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned one of the most expensive restaurants in New York regarding its fresh fish.

The expensive New York restaurant facing regulatory problems is Masa,  a high-end Japanese restaurant. Masa holds three Michelin stars, the highest award given to chefs for their excellent cooking.

Chef Masayoshi Takayama is the owner of Masa located Manhattan. The restaurant features a Shaboo dining room that charges around $500 per person excluding drinks and tax.

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In its warning letter, the FDA alleged that Masa committed serious violations of federal regulations governing seafood importation. The regulator made the allegation after inspecting the restaurant’s seafood importer establishment on June 22.

Masa’s fresh tuna alleged packed under insanitary conditions

According to the regulator, Masa violated the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation (21 CFR Part 123).

The FDA wrote, “Your fresh trevally and fresh Katsuwonus pelamis (Katsuo), also known as skipjack tuna or bonito…are adulterated. The regulator added that its fresh tuna “have been prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions.” Additionally, the FDA alleged that Masa’s fresh tuna may cause health problems.

Furthermore, the FDA ordered Masa to implement affirmative steps to make sure that its imported fish comply with the seafood HACCP. The regulator will take further actions to refuse admission of Masa’s imported fish if it fails to correct its violations.

The FDA gave Masa 15 working days to respond in writing outlining the specific steps to rectify its mistakes.

Masa may include several steps such as getting records about the compliance of foreign suppliers with the FDA standards. It may also conduct inspection of facilities.

In an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg, Tina Clabbers, a representative for Masa, said, “We take FDA regulations very seriously and, of course, food safety is always a priority. We are working closely with our purveyors in Japan to get this resolved quickly.”

In July 2016, Masa received an A grade from the health inspectors of New York City.