Something Fishy Is Going On in the Restaurant Industry
February 22, 2013
If you’re a fan of sushi or fresh fish, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve been eating meals that you didn’t order (and probably wouldn’t have wanted). According to a shocking new investigation, the problem of fish fraud is rampant in major cities across the U.S.
The most common issue stems from items being intentionally mislabeled so that cheaper fish can be passed off for more expensive meals. In New York alone, 39 percent of restaurants and retail markets committed fraud, as did all of the 16 sushi restaurants tested around the city. But the problem isn’t just with cheaper substitutions—some of the fraud can be downright dangerous: Fish on the FDA’s “Do not eat list,” published for groups like pregnant mothers and children because of the high levels of mercury they contain, were sold as safe. And almost all of the “white tuna” samples tested were actually a fish called escolar—a species of fish particularly harmful to people with certain digestive conditions …