The same goes for seafood. There is a great deal of fraud occuring at the retail and restaurant level. We came across this interesting article in our local newspaper and thought we would share.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com
Take a bite out of Florida seafood fraudDaniel Vasquez
Sun Sentinel Columnist
April 9, 2012
Everyone in Florida can play a role in stamping out seafood fraud.
First, let's collectively face the facts. Local restaurants and markets are hawking fake or substitute fish at premium prices. And there are those among us looking the other way to get a cheap grouper sandwich.
That's why seafood fraud happens.
Fake fish enterprise threatens us all, our pocketbooks, health and environment.
"The industry just needs more regulation," said Tim Petrillo, co-founder and CEO of The Restaurant People, Inc., which operates the fine-food eateries Yolo and Tarpon Bend in downtown Fort Lauderdale. "And the consumer needs to know why they are paying what they are paying when it comes to fish."
But the point of distribution is critical, and that's where the focus must be, Petrillo added. "We can only take responsibility for so much," he said.
Petrillo said his establishments try to reassure customers that they get what they pay for by, for example, serving the yellowtail snapper sandwich with tail intact. Easily removed, that tail tells the diner the true tale about the dish's authenticity, Petrillo said.
Petrillo made the case for regulation as a panelist in the "Bait and Switch: How Seafood fraud hurts our oceans, our wallets and our health," hosted lThursday by the Tower Forum.
"There is a reason we sell a Grouper sandwich for $12 and the other guy sells it for $6," Petrillo told me, the event's moderator. "His is not grouper."
Consumers should question unusually low prices or suspicious fish dishes, said fellow panelist Dr. Michael Hirschfield, senior vice president and chief scientist for Oceana, an international ocean conservation group. And they should support congressional legislation to implement a tracking system akin to the beef industry, which traces products from the farm to the plate, Hirschfield said.
"We need a traceable system, on a barcode, that tracks from boat to plate," he said. "That would protect the honest fisherman, the honest distributor and the honest restaurant."
Oceana uses undercover customers and DNA testing to document seafood fraud in the United States. In, Boston, it found supermarkets mislabeled fish 23 percent of the time. South Florida is currently being investigated.
What you can do:
Report fish substitution at a supermarket or retail store to the Division of Food Safety at 850-245-5520. For a restaurant, contact the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at 850-487-1395.
firstname.lastname@example.org, 954-356-4219 or 561-243-6686.
To view this article, click HERE.
|1) Right is rockfish & left is red snapper 2) right is wild salmon and left is farmed Atlantic salmon|
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