Monday, February 22, 2010

Under-weighted frozen seafood removed from stores

The Department of Consumer Protection in Connecticut and departments in more than a dozen other states Monday warned food shoppers that ice glazing on packaged frozen seafood such as shrimp, scallops and fish can undermine the amount of product that consumers get for their money.

CT Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. said his staff joined other states in reviewing packaged seafood from 20 different grocery locations statewide, including both major chain stores and smaller, independent grocers.

Connecticut follows National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) standards for verifying how much the actual seafood weighs (the net weight). Ice and glazing in seafood packages is not allowed to be counted in the net weight of the product.

“We tested 52 different seafood products and exactly half of them failed, in that the packages contained less actual product in weight than was labeled,” Farrell said. “Excess ice made up the difference, which on average was 4.5% per package. If you’re buying a 5-pound bag of shrimp at $6.00 a pound, but a quarter pound is just ice, you’re really paying $6.31 a pound for the shrimp you get.”

Inspectors removed all packages of the 26 failed product brands from sale for a total of 847 packages of short-weight seafood. The actual dollar cost of the shortages ranged from just two cents to $1.95 per package, state officials said.

“On average, a customer buying one of these short-weight packages would pay 50 cents on just ice, so the economic impact of just the 847 packages we removed was more than $425.00,” Farrell said.

Other states that conducted inspections were Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, North Carolina, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The following brands failed inspection due to short weight:

· Great American Seafood Imports Co Seafood Medley (1 lb)
· Snow Crab Clusters 3 lbs or More (Store Packed)
· Gonsalves Carapau Chinchards (28 oz)
· Gonsalves Small Mackerel (24 oz)
· Stone Crabs (Store Packed)
· Sea Pearl 26/30 Easy Peel White Headless Shrimp (1 lb)
· World Classics Peeled & Deveined Cooked Cocktail Shrimp 71/90 (1 lb)
· World Classics Peeled & Deveined Cooked Cocktail Shrimp 71/90 (1 lb)
· Pana Pesca Calamari Rings (1 lb)
· Nantucket Supreme Wild Caught 10/20 Sea Scallops (2 lb)
· Price Chopper Cooked Shrimp 70-90 (2 lb)
· Price Chopper Sea Scallops (Store Packed)
· Price Chopper Sea Scallops (Store Packed)
· Tampa Bay Under 10 Sea Scallops (2 lb)
· Aqua Star Raw Seafood Mix (1 lb)
· Arctic Shores Uncooked Shrimp Deveined, EZ Peel 31-40 Shrimp (2 lb)
· Extra Large Bay Scallops (Store Packed)
· Northern Chef Farm Raised Bay Scallops (1 lb)
· Northern Chef Wild Caught All Natural Seafood Medley (1 lb)
· Cape Gourmet Raw Peeled and Deveined Tail-On Shrimp (2 lb)
· Captains Call Wild Caught 10/20 Scallops (2 lb)
· Octopus Pulpo Wild Caught Octopus (1 lb)
· Gold Star Seafood All Natural Bay Scallops (2 lb)
· Wal-Mart Medium Shrimp Peeled & Deveined with Tail Off 60-80 (14 oz)
· Nautilus Raw Shrimp 16-20 Easy-Peel (2 lb)
· Nautilus Raw Shrimp 31-40 Easy-Peel (2 lb)

"The Department of Consumer Protection is notifying the failed companies with our concerns about over-glazing and advising them to take immediate measures to comply with federal standards," Farrell said. “Once this investigation is completed, we may impose financial penalties on these companies.”

No comments:

Post a Comment