1 year after spill, dealers say seafood definitely safe to eat

Michelle Stuckey
April 21, 2011 at 10:05 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

On the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, local seafood companies are reporting strong sales and clean, healthy catches.

Blandon Zeringue, of Zeringue’s Seafood, said that business has been good lately.

“The seafood’s definitely safe to eat. We’re not having any problems with tainted seafood,” Zeringue said.
Willie Hebert, of Hebert’s Seafood, said that his business has also seen steady sales.

“The oil spill hurt sales, but sales seem to be coming around,” Hebert said.

Hebert said that many people were so skeptical that they were even wary of freshwater catfish and crawfish, which were nowhere near the oil.

“Everyone was really scared (to eat Louisiana seafood)…but I think things are kind of smoothing over now,” he said.

In fact, seafood is so safe that the average consumer could eat 63 pounds of Louisiana shrimp, 130 Louisiana oysters or nine pounds of Louisiana fish each day for five years before they would even approach the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “level of concern” for oil contamination, according to a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries press release.

The LDWF and the Department of Health and Hospitals have tested more than 1,000 seafood samples for contamination by the BP oil spill since May 2010. According to LDWF, all of the tested samples have been deemed safe for consumption.

Samples often include more than one specimen, so a single shrimp sample could include 100 individual shrimp that are ground into a composite paste and sampled. This sampling method provides a more complete picture of the health of Louisiana’s seafood, according to the LDWF.




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