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National Restaurant Association - NRA, NFI partner to fight seafood fraud

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NRA, NFI partner to fight seafood fraud

The National Restaurant Association and the National Fisheries Institute have joined forces to fight against seafood fraud.

As part of a memorandum of understanding signed Sept. 20, the two organizations, through the NFI’s Better Seafood Board, will provide insight, advice and guidance on reliable seafood sourcing partners as well as a business-to-business venue where suspected seafood fraud can be reported.

“This type of cooperation will help to ultimately strengthen consumer trust in establishments that are using all available resources to ensure an honest value chain,” said Sue Hensley, the NRA’s senior vice president of public affairs/communications.

Seafood fraud can result from a misunderstanding, lack of information or misrepresentation of product.

The partnership will allow the Better Seafood Board to offer menu-labeling review services to NRA members’ restaurants. The service permits restaurateurs to submit the names of fish featured on their menus and request review by the BSB on whether the fish is properly labeled. To request a review, operators can call (866) 956-4272.

The NFI also said the BSB would participate in NRA-sponsored events and give presentations on topics such as mislabeling and short weighting, and would help educate restaurateurs on how to spot potential mistakes on menus and invoices. Short weighting occurs when restaurateurs are charged for the net weight of an entire package received rather than just the fish itself. Invoice errors happen when suppliers mislabel the seafood product.

“The more we hear about fish fraud in the media, the more finger pointing we see,” said BSB Secretary Lisa Weddig. “Is it a case of species substitution by the distributor or is it menu mislabeling? We want to take the mystery out of that scenario and make sure restaurants and seafood providers are working together.”

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