Costco Canada fish import license suspended by food safety agency

Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:35pm EDT
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TORONTO, March 16 (Reuters) - Costco Canada's fish importing license has been suspended, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said, after the federal food safety watchdog determined the company violated the country's Fish Inspection Regulations.

The agency did not issue a recall for any products in relation to suspension.

The CFIA, which suspended the license on February 26, publicized the suspension on Friday, saying Costco Wholesale Corp did not consistently apply adequate food safety controls.

Under the penalty, the wholesale retail giant cannot import fish products into the country until the agency is satisfied the company has implemented the necessary changes.

The CFIA said Costco violated rules that required written notification for each shipment of fish to an inspector either before or within 48 hours of importing the products, and regulations that stipulated imported fish cannot be moved without permission.

The impact of the suspension is unclear. Costco operates 89 warehouses in Canada and reported Canadian revenue of $17.94 billion in 2014.

The company could not be immediately reached for comment. The Canadian Press, citing an e-mail from Costco, said the suspension came about as a result of three administrative incidents in the last two years, impacting a limited number of canned tuna products, and did not affect other fish products sold. (Reporting by Solarina Ho; editing by Gunna Dickson)