Will you eat Gulf seafood? Poll finds most still say no
HERNANDO BEACH, FLORIDA– A new poll suggests the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico may still be having a devastating impact in the Tampa Bay area.
A survey of more than 1,500 USA Today readers found about 60 percent still will not eat gulf seafood.
One reader even wrote, “Don’t eat any seafood from the Gulf if you value your health. The gulf is absolutely polluted. I don’t think it will ever be clean.”
As he took a bite from a seafood sandwich at R Beach Seafood Restaurant in Hernando County, Frank Santo disagreed. “The seafood itself has been tested thoroughly. I’m convinced it’s clean. I’m convinced it’s good,” he said.
For a restaurant that prides itself on serving fresh Florida seafood, owner Susan Javidi says the poll is not what she wants to hear.
Still, Javidi says she’s completely confident that what comes out of her kitchen is clean.
“110 percent. I’m with my distributor weekly. We discuss fishes, where they’re coming from,” she explained.
Kathy Birren and her family are commercial fishermen, owners of Hernando Beach Seafood Company. She admits at times she’s even doubted the safety of what they’re catching in the Gulf. But she tells 10 News her attitude has changed recently, with what she calls a new “independent” study. By testing the “meat of the fish,” she says so far no chemicals have been found.
“At this point, when the boat comes in, I will bring filets home to my children and I will feel confident that they will be OK,” Birren said.
The federal government continues to say Gulf seafood is safe and is the most tested in the world.
If you want to know if the seafood you’re eating is from the Gulf, restaurants say the best bet is to just ask and then have faith they’re telling you the truth.