WASHINGTON — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it is reviewing the results of a multi-state investigation in which the National Conference on Weights and Measures found tens of thousands of packages of short-weighted frozen seafood in supermarkets.
The investigation found that consumers and businesses may be paying up to $23 per pound for ice when purchasing frozen seafood products.
“Over 21,000 consumer packages of seafood were removed from sale during the 4-week investigation,” Judy Cardin, weights and measures chief for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, said in an announcement. “In some cases, inspectors found ice comprising up to 40% of the product weight. A consumer purchasing one of these packages would be overcharged more than $9.”
The FDA is currently reviewing these results and determining what actions should be taken, FDA spokesman Michael Herndon told the Chicago Tribune.
These actions could include targeting a specific firm or supplier, or ordering the selective import sampling of a particular commodity. The FDA has been more active with issuing warnings over short-weighting recently. In October 2009, the agency threatened closure and/or product seizure of a Bridgewater, Ill.-based supplier over the issue.
The National Conference on Weights and Measures organized the investigation at the request of the National Fisheries Institute. Seventeen states participated.