A USDA analysis of the FDA’s import refusals reporting shows that for the past seven years the FDA has rejected almost 18,000 imported seafood shipments due to the food being unfit for human consumption.
The FDA stated that the shipments were refused entry into the United States for many reasons, including “harmful levels of filth (rat feces, parasites, illegal antibiotics, glass), veterinary drug residues, and Salmonella.”
The USDA concluded their report by stating: “The safety of imported seafood clearly continues to be of significant concern, based on the number of shipments refused by FDA.”
The FDA, while responsible for the safety of all seafood imported into the US, lacks the manpower to provide thorough inspections for the majority of all imported seafood. For example, they only inspect less than 1% of the shrimp entering the country each year.
American Shrimp Processors Association President Dr. David Veal expressed concern: “This issue goes beyond the FDA; I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect food suppliers to take some responsibility for the health and safety of their products. We hope shrimp exporters will take a more proactive role in assuring that suppliers adhere to laws designed to protect the people who buy their products.”
Shrimp is the most common imported seafood consumed in the United States. Ninety percent of shrimp consumed in the US are imports from countries like China, Indonesia and Thailand; countries that routinely export shrimp that the FDA rejects.
To protect yourself, look for wild-caught domestic shrimp, which has shown fewer levels of bacterial contaminants. Be sure to thoroughly clean all fresh seafood and fish. CitroBio Fresh Food Wash can be used on produce, seafood, sushi, and meat of all types to remove contaminants. To learn more about CitroBio, click here.