NY supermarkets often mislabel seafood in fishy ‘fraud’: AG

There’s no ‘sole,’ man!

An astonishing 87.5 percent of the lemon sole sold in New York state supermarkets is mislabeled, according to a report issued Friday by the state Attorney General.

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And that’s not the end of the cod job grocers are pulling: Two-thirds of the red snapper inspected was another fish and 28 percent of the “wild” salmon wasn’t wild at all.

Instead, the primo fish were often substituted with cheaper knockoffs: fresh salmon was replaced with farm raised fish, lane snapper was marked as ‘red’, swai was packaged as sole.

The practice was most common in New York City, where 43 percent of the fish sold was mismarked. Long Island grocery stores fared nearly as badly, 41 percent of the fish was foul.

“It’s clear that seafood fraud isn’t just a fluke – it’s rampant across New York,” said Attorney General Barbara Underwood, whose department is trying to can the practice.

The AG’s office cast a long line to catch the fraud, buying fish at 155 grocery stores — representing 29 chains — across the state.

All were sent to a DNA lab for analysis.

The report named singled out five chains where 50 percent or more of the fish was mismarked, including upscale Stew Leonard’s.

The grocer blamed the results on confusion over what qualifies as “red snapper.”

“Until today, my family and I had no idea that an imported snapper couldn’t be called a `red snapper’ as only domestic snapper is permitted to be called `red snapper,’” said Stew Leonard Jr “We immediately changed our signage and our labels once we were alerted to this issue earlier today by the New York Attorney General’s Office.”

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