12/11/2012 10:41:00 AM

Fishy Findings: Study Finds 39% of NYC Seafood Mislabeled

Menu descriptions = red herrings? 
When you order a yellowtail roll at your local sushi joint, you might not be getting quite what you expect. A report issued today by advocacy group Oceana found that "seafood fraud" is widespread in NYC. DNA tests conducted by the group found that 39% of the 142 samples from retailers and restaurants were improperly labeled. In some cases, an unhealthy fish like tilefish (which is on the FDA's do-not-eat list because of high mercury content) was subbed for something like halibut.

You should be particularly careful if you're ordering red snapper - the report found that it was one of the most mislabeled offerings. Offered in the snappers place were "tilapia, white bass, goldbanded jobfish, tilefish, porgy/seabream, ocean perch and other less valuable snappers." We're not sure how to avoid fish that is mislabeled since the problem seems so prevalent (and in many circumstances it seems like the problem starts at the wholesale level) - the best advice is to go somewhere you really trust.

Read about the study here.


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