Taking a Stand Against Seafood FraudPosted by Santa Monica Admin, on February 25th, 2013 in Announcements, Quality Control, Seafood Education, Selecting Seafood
Seafood fraud continues to make the front pages of newspapers across the country, and if you are keeping up with the numbers, it would seem that species substitution is a national epidemic. We fully support any effort to expose fraudulent purveyors, restaurant owners and chefs but we also want you to understand the steps we take to make sure all of our seafood is exactly what we say it is.
Let’s start at the receiving dock. We receive a huge percentage of our fresh fish and shellfish in whole form – there’s no way to label a whole farmed steelhead salmon as “Wild King Salmon” and get it past our experienced receiving team. Not that we’d ever get to that point – a key component of our sourcing program are the long-term relationships we’ve formed with quality suppliers over our 70-plus years of doing business. All of our suppliers understand that we have a zero-tolerance for species substitution. It’s simply not acceptable.
However, we do perform random DNA testing as a backstop, and we keep our supplier relationships in an “active” mode – that is, we don’t just sit back and purchase seafood; our purchasing team spends a lot of time on the road, visiting suppliers and making sure operations are up to our high standards. We also interact with our suppliers and other purveyors at industry events throughout the year.
Certifications, like FSSC 22000 and ISO 14001, are another way to ensure that all our of internal systems are operating under the highest standards in the industry. We’re serious about providing the safest, most responsibly sourced seafood possible, and maintaining these certifications is part of that commitment.
Our inventory tracking, invoicing and record keeping systems are state-of-the-art, and we assure you that what’s on your invoice is exactly what you’re receiving from us. If you have any questions or concerns, or need clarification on a species, country of origin, capture method or anything, don’t hesitate to contact us.