A Minneapolis fish company was told to limit the time pickled herring spends in a processing room and ensure the temperature is low enough to preserve the fish, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced this month.
The FDA also listed nine instances of cross-contamination during an inspection of Olsen Fish Co. in December. Inspectors saw someone use a rusty tool to open bags and a worker mix cream sauce after his gloves touched the bottom of a container he had lifted off the floor.
President Chris Dorff says all cross-contamination issues have been addressed. In a response to the FDA, he agreed to closely watch processing-room conditions and said refrigeration coupled with the acidity of herring is enough to keep the fish safe from pathogens and toxins.
Dorff said his food-safety protocol was developed using "training and the tools provided by the FDA" and he was frustrated to find the same agency later considered the protocol deficient.