The Catfish Institute
News Alert

Imported Seafood Remains Top Violator of U.S. Food Safety Standards

April 6, 2016 -- Fishery and seafood products accounted for the majority of imported food shipments refused by the FDA, according to a recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) analysis of all FDA Import Refusals of food products during the period 2005 through 2013.  Of the total 87,552 imported food shipment refusals, fishery/seafood products (with 17,980 refusals) were also the most likely import to contain the pathogens Salmonella and Listeria.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states Salmonella is responsible for approximately 1.2 million illnesses and an estimated 450 deaths in the U.S. each year; and Listeria sickens 1,600 Americans annually, of which 260 die.

Sanitary violations-specifically, "filth"- was the most common reason for shipment refusals of fishery/seafood products, and accounted for 30% of recorded violations in these products during the 2005-2013 period. 
Salmonella accounted for another 20% of recorded seafood violations during this same time frame.  "The safety of imported seafood clearly continues to be of significant concern, based on the number of shipments refused by FDA," USDA concluded.

Of all imported food refusals, the share for seafood (20.5 percent) was slightly higher during 2005-2013 than the period 1998-2004 (20.1 percent) when a similar study was conducted. By comparison, the number of import refusals of vegetable products, the second largest imported food violator, decreased significantly from 20.6 percent in 1998-2004 to 16.1 percent in 2005-2013.  Mexico, India and China were the biggest violators with the most shipments refused.

The FDA physically examines less than 1 percent of food shipments imported into the U. S.  Continuing quality and safety problems with imported catfish and catfish-like species led Congress to transfer inspection responsibilities for these fish from FDA to the USDA effective March 1.

For safety you can depend on, choose U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish.  It is 100 percent American grown and processed and a delicious alternative to potentially hazardous imported seafood. For more information about U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish, visit

For More Information:
The Catfish Institute

The Catfish Institute | 6311 Ridgewood Road | Suite W404 | Jackson | MS | 39211