Is My Seafood Safe?
By: Nan Jensen, Family and Consumer Science Agent
While the constant media coverage of the oil spill is behind us, questions still linger about the seafood that comes from the gulf. Consumers can be assured that a number of agencies are working in cooperation to monitor the safety of seafood and have made it one of their highest priorities.
These agencies include the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Marine Fisheries Service and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, the Gulf Coast states along with FDA and NOAA have agreed on a protocol to determine when closed federal harvest waters can be re-opened.
- FDA and NOAA are using sophisticated testing that can detect elements of concern to public health in seafood at extremely low concentrations.
- Current data from these tests indicate that seafood from Gulf waters is safe.
- To date, every seafood sample form waters that have been reopened passed the taste, smell and elements test.
- Seafood monitoring includes the tests for the presence of oil.
- Available information indicates that the dispersant used to combat the oil did not accumulate in the seafood and there is no public health concern from dispersants due to seafood consumption.