Connecticut of USA Department of Consumer Protection Joined 18 Other States in a Multi-state Frozen Seafood Investigation

February 23, 2010 20:35

The Department of Consumer Protection has found that ice glazing on packaged frozen seafood such as shrimp, scallops and fish sold in Connecticut can make a significant impact on the amount of product that consumers get for their money, agency Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. said, reports with reference to the agency's statement  dated February 22, 2010.

Following a 2009 federal report on ice glazing in frozen foods, the Department joined 18 other states in a multi-state frozen seafood investigation. Connecticut's review included packaged seafood from 20 different grocery locations statewide, including major grocery chains and independent grocers.

 "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 products from sale. In all, 847 packages of short-weight seafood were taken off sale. The actual dollar cost of the shortages ranged from just two cents to $1.95 per package.

 "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. "These short-weights are grossly unfair to the consumer, and quickly add up. No one should be paying for excess ice on frozen seafood," he said.

Connecticut has adopted 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.

The following branded seafood products failed the inspection due to short weight.

Full Product Name

  • 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 Deveined, EZ Peel Shrimp 31-40 (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, 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)
  • WalMart Medium Shrimp Peeled & Deveined w/ 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."

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