Bristol Farms Introduces Low-Mercury Seafood.
Southern California grocer Bristol Farms announced it will sell Safe Harbor certified seafood exclusively in all of its 16 California stores beginning May 29, 2007. Safe Harbor seafood is certified to be lower in mercury than government standards through testing conducted by Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI), San Rafael, Calif., developer of the world's first rapid, large-scale mercury-testing process for seafood.
Seafood sold with the Safe Harbor seal is certified to have a mercury level that is among the lowest available for each species. All Safe Harbor certified seafood meets a stricter standard than that set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In 2006, MASI tested more seafood for mercury than the FDA has reported testing in the past 30 years.
"We are committed to providing our customers with the highest-quality foods, and Safe Harbor certified seafood testing allows us to demonstrate that commitment by being the first retailer in Southern California to offer certified low-mercury seafood," said Kevin Davis, Bristol Farms' president and CEO. "Our customers are extremely knowledgeable about the food they purchase, and we expect Safe Harbor certified seafood to address concerns some may have about mercury levels in fish and seafood. It's a perfect fit with our philosophy of offering the best quality and freshest products available."
Even though seafood and fish have been proven to be an important part of a healthy diet, high in protein and essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids while still low in fat, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children to avoid eating certain species such as swordfish, shark, tilefish, tuna, and king mackerel which routinely contain higher levels of mercury.
This new Safe Harbor testing will now provide access to seafood and fish certified to contain significantly less mercury than considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be safe levels for every species. "This new testing process should help our customers to feel confident that Safe Harbor certified fish and seafood can continue to be an important part of their healthy diet," said Kevin Davis, explaining the goal of the new certified seafood program.