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IMPORTant Facts

Shrimp is the number one selling seafood in the United States coming in at over 1.5 billion pounds annually. That’s approximately 4.4 pounds for every man, woman and child in this country.  Mayhew’s Market is COMMITTED to YOUR safety in bringing you wild caught, individually quick frozen (IQF) shrimp from the ocean waters of the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico.

     The following information is from the research we’ve done and we would like to share it with our customers and all those interested. References provided:

     Were you aware that less than ten percent of shrimp eaten in the United States comes from domestic wild harvest?  Did you know that over 90% of the shrimp consumed in this country is imported from overseas? Well over half of that is farmed, not wild shrimp. The top two importing countries are India which accounts for 35.2 percent of the value of all shrimp imports into the United States worth roughly 2.2 billion dollars. Second largest is Indonesia accounting for 18.8 percent worth roughly 1.2 billion dollars.

     The European Commission’s Directorate General for Health and Food Safety’s recent report “shows the extensive, unique controls that the Indian government has installed to safeguard against exporting shrimp contaminated with antibiotics to the European Union”. However, the report “also reveals why massive quantities of Indian shrimp have been directed to the U.S. market, where no comparable controls are required.” The inability of our food safety regulatory system to deal with the problem of the indiscriminate use of antibiotics and other chemicals in aquaculture has made the United States a dumping ground for contaminated shrimp. The FDA has tested only a very small fraction of those imports because of lack of the army of inspectors that would be required for that volume of imports. Chemicals tested for are an array of antibiotics, formaldehyde, leuco-malachite green (which the FDA had banned in 1983 in this country because of its toxicity), chloramphenicol, tetracyclines, furazolidone, nitrofurazone, sulfadimexothine and furaltadone.    

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Oceana study reveals misrepresentation of America’s favorite seafood – shrimp – across the United States. In the only known study of its kind in the U.S., DNA testing confirmed that 30 percent of the 143 shrimp products tested from 111 grocery stores and restaurants were misrepresented. Oceana also found that consumers are often provided with little information about the shrimp they purchase, including where and how it was caught or farmed, making it difficult, if not impossible, for them to make informed choices. 

     Overall, 35 percent of the 111 vendors visited nationwide sold misrepresented shrimp. Of the 70 restaurants visited, 31 percent sold misrepresented shrimp, and 41 percent of the 41 grocery stores visited sold misrepresented products. However, shrimp purchased from grocery stores and restaurants were misrepresented at the same rate – 30 percent.

Got Wild? Gulf Shrimp!





Food Safety News

Consumer Reports

Southern Shrimp Alliance

Seafood Health Facts