The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned poultry giant Tyson Foods over unsanitary conditions at a seafood soup manufacturing facility in Texas.

In a letter posted on the agency's website today (1 December), the FDA said it found "serious violations" of the seafood Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) regulation at the Fort Worth site.

Inspectors investigated the plant in August and found shrimp and crab meat that was thawing for 18 hours between 40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat was being stored for the company's Seafood Gumbo, the agency said in its letter to the company.

The agency also said the growth of bacteria that can cause food poisons is a "reasonably likely hazard" for food items stored in refrigerators at the incorrect temperatures.

Tyson sent an email to the FDA on 9 September indicating that it had discarded crabmeat and shrimp products that were observed and measured during the inspection.

Additionally, the firm said it had implemented a new thawing operating procedure for to control the hazard of pathogen growth and toxin formation during processing.

However, the agency said the correction was "insufficient" in that new standard operating procedures cannot be used in lieu of HACCP controls in a HACCP plan.

It added that pathogen growth and potential toxin formulation is a hazard reasonably likely to occur in the absence of control, and consequently, the hazard needed to be addressed.

The agency concluded that failure to "promptly" correct the violation may result in regulatory action without further notice, such as "seizure or injunction".

Tyson could not be reached for immediate comment.