There is hardly anyone out there who want to be served, much less eat something that they did not order when eating out. Not knowing that you may be eating a different fish with your sushi won't really hurt you. Hopefully it really won't.
But the result of this new study will make you want to re-think if you're actually getting a red snapper instead of a different fish, or a tuna instead of salmon (just in case you can't tell the difference). Researchers found the rampant food fraud in restaurants and that mislabeling have been practiced for years even in your leading grocery stores.
The marine scientists from UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), UCLA, Loyola Marymount University and UC Santa Cruz discovered the seafood mislabeling over a four-year period of research and identification using DNA markers.
They discovered that 26 restaurants and three high-end grocery stores in the greater Los Angeles area have been mislabeling their seafood.
Samantha Cheng, the co-author of the study explained, "The results of this study raise new questions about the efficacy of efforts intended to stem seafood fraud."
“Time and again, we found one variety or even an entirely different species to be labeled as a different, more commonly known or popular fish.”
There were 300 undergrad students who enlisted to help conduct the vital part of this study. They ordered sushi-grade specimens from grocers and restaurants then took samples back to the labs for DNA analysis.
The study found that all of the 26 restaurants served at least one mislabeled fish. For instance, red snapper or halibut were in reality a different fish.
“Finding that nearly a third of the halibut sushi examined were in fact olive flounder, a species that has caused rampant outbreaks of parasitic infections in Japan, is very concerning,” Cheng added.
“But much more needs to be done to increase advocacy, detection and enforcement to prevent seafood fraud. The public deserves to know what they are eating."
The findings of the study are published to journal Conservation Biology
See: Here’s Why Codes Stamped On Fruits and Veggies Shouldn’t Be Ignored