by Craig Weatherby
Three recent cases of seafood fraud and malfeasance bring the warning “buyer beware” to mind.
Closest to home, the FDA cited a Maryland seafood processor earlier this week for breaches of federal food-safety laws.
The Congressional Seafood Co. was ordered to stop distributing seafood after it failed to follow regulations regarding the handling of raw, ready-to-eat tuna, fresh and vacuum-packed crab meat, frozen octopus and shrimp, and other shellfish.
The second case involved seizure of some 500 tons of bad seafood and shellfish destined for New Year's Eve dinner parties in Italy.
Italy’s Agriculture Minister said that worms were found in some of the fish seized between Dec. 10 and 23, while in other cases, mussels defrosted months earlier were passed off as fresh, and fish coming from Asia was passed off as domestic.
He described the food as “garbage” including brine jellyfish, and said that the Mafia or another organized crime gang was likely responsible.
Last, exports of freshwater shrimp to the European Union (EU) resumed recently after a six-month suspension following detection of hazardous levels of the antibiotic drug nitrofuran.
Over 50 consignments of lobsters bound for Europe were also canceled by importing agencies, for similar contamination.
This is why we only purchase from local sources we know personally, visit every one before buying, and regularly check the quality of our incoming shipments!
- SeafoodSource.com. FDA cites Md. seafood processor. January 11, 2010. Accessed at http://www.seafoodsource.com/newsarticledetail.aspx?id=4294987876
- The Associated Press. Mob link eyed as Italy seizes 500 tons of fish. December 30, 2009. Accessed at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34631257/ns/world_news-europe/
- The Financial Express. Shrimp export to EU resumes tomorrow. January 10, 2010. Accessed at http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2010/01/10/89134.html