Cumberland Compliant

Retailer achieves HACCP regulation compliance

Linda Abu-Shalback Zid, Senior Editor

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. -- Cumberland Farms has confirmed that it has achieved full compliance with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration's seafood Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulationdespite media reports to the contrary.

The company received a letter in September that it was out of compliance, with violations including the need to conduct or have conducted a hazard analysis for each kind of fish and fishery product to determine if food safety hazards are likely to occur. The company also needed to implement a written HACCP plan to control any hazards [image-nocss] for "refrigerated, ready to eat, modified atmosphere packaged tuna fish sandwiches."

Christen Graham, spokesperson for Cumberland Farms, told CSP Daily News, "The company responded immediately and engaged an expert consultant in HACCP, remediated all of the concerns stated by the FDA and was declared fully compliant in February." She added that the September letter was a warning, and that "no consumer complaints were issued, no one was sick."

Graham called the erroneous reports "frustrating," and added that another inaccurate statement was that the company has its own seafood processing plant. "It does not nor did it ever. It's not assembled by Cumberland Farms."

Graham said that she did not have the name of the plant's owner readily available.

Framingham, Mass.-based Cumberland Farms' network of retail stores, gas stations and a support system including petroleum and grocery distribution operations spans 11 states across the Northeast and Florida, making it the largest convenience store and petroleum marketer in the Northeast. Its affiliate, Gulf Oil LP, distributes motor fuels through a network of more than 1,800 Gulf-branded stations, 12 proprietary oil terminals and a network of more than 50 other supply terminals. It supplies heating oil, diesel fuel, jet fuel and kerosene to these branded retail outlets through both its Gulf brand and, in the seven states of New England and New York, the Exxon brand.