One of the most expensive and esteemed restaurants in America is serving dangerously insanitary tuna, according to the Food and Drug Administration.
The three Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City received a letter saying its tuna was ‘prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have been rendered injurious to health’.
The head chef, Masayoshi Takayama, sushi master and owner from Japan, serves a tasting menu that costs $595 per person not including drinks.
But now the restaurant has 15 days fix how it handles its fresh fish in order to comply with FDA rules.
Masa, the most expensive restaurant in America, was cited by the FDA for having unsanitary conditions when importing and packaging their tuna. Pictured is someone preparing food at the restaurant in 2005
Chef Masa (pictured) opened Masa in NYC in 2004. He serves a tasting menu that costs $595 per person. This is him at an event in NYC in April 2017
Masa was opened in 2004 in Manhattan’s Time Warner Center by Takayama, who is known as Chef Masa.
He has two other restaurants located in Las Vegas and Beverley Hills, neither of which have any known health violations.
Masa previously made headlines for its expensive tasting menu that can cost a couple more than $1,400 including the advertised champagne.
Its skipjack tuna, also known as bonito, was cited by the FDA for being imported and held in unsanitary conditions before serving it to customers.
A warning letter was sent on October 16 to inform the restaurant of its violations towards importing, packing and preparing its seafood.
It was also cited for not making sure their foreign supplier met sanitary standards.
The FDA does not have jurisdiction over individual restaurants, but it is responsible for seafood importation into the US.
About 85 percent of the seafood consumed in the United States is imported.
Restaurants are responsible for regulating where they buy their fish and how it is transported to insure it is safe for people to eat.
Seafood intended for raw consumption is required to be frozen first for 15 hours, which has caused controversy for sushi chefs who want to serve fresh fish to their customers.
The FDA leaves it to local officials to enforce the rule, but regulators have said it is important because it helps kill parasites.
These parasites can cause stomach pains and vomiting when consumed.
Also, some people can contract anisakiasis if parasites are in the fresh fish that they eat.
Anisakisasis is a parasitic disease where worms attach to the wall of the esophagus, stomach or intestine, according to the CDC.
The only treatment option for this disease is to have the worm surgically removed.
Chef Masa and his team has fifteen days to respond to the letter with a detailed explanation of how he and his staff are going to fix these violations.
A spokesperson for the restaurant told Daily Mail Online: ‘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.’
The US Food and Drug Administration sent this warning letter to the establishment on October 16. The restaurant has to respond to the letter in 15 days about how they are changing how they import and package their fish