fish species mislabelling (2)


This study used DNA barcoding to identify fish species and microbiome profiling  to study the presence of pathogens. Between February 2018 and October 2020, 127 fish samples were collected from restaurants (83 samples), and the remainder (44 samples) from hypermarkets, supermarkets, markets, seafood wholesalers/retailers, and fishing harbours. The microbiological analysis was undertaken because most of the restaurant samples were raw fish sashimi/sushi. The study found that 24 of the samples were mislabelled as regards the fish species, and snapper had the largest number of mislabelled samples (11), which had been substituted by tilapia. This may be due to the labelling of tilapia as Taiwan-Snapper.

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The New York Attorney General's Office has just published a report of a survey into the labelling of fish species in New York's supermarket chains. Fish (snapper, grouper, cod, wild salmon, halibut, sole, striped bass and white tuna) was sampled from 155 retail  locations from 29 supermarket chains, and sent to Northeastern University for DNA testing. 27% of the samples were found to be mislabelled. A group of 5 of the supermarket chains were responsible for most of the mislabelled samples with more than 50% of their samples mislabelled. 87.5% of the lemon sole, and 67% of the red snapper were mislabelled, and 28% of the salmon was wrongly sold as wild when it was farmed. The report gives best practice for businesses to ensure that the consumer is not purchasing mislabelled fish. 

 Read the article and the full NYAG report

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