Introducing “Tuna Scrape”

Raw Tuna

In the wake of the recent Salmonella outbreak that sickened at least 141 individuals, federal public health officials were able to determine the culprit – imported Tuna Scrape. You heard right, the latest food to be scrutinized in the media comes from the seafood industry and can be found in sushi rolls around the world.  Nakaochi Scrape, better known as Tuna Scrape, is the ground backmeat scraped from the bones of the fish. This most recent Salmonella outbreak led to the recall of some 58,828 pounds of the tuna product imported from India.

With all of the recent press surrounding Pink Slime, a beef product produced by collecting scrap meat from the cow carcass, separating meat from fat, grinding up the meat and connective tissues and finally treating the end result with ammonia, many people are questioning – is Tuna Scrape the new Pink Slime?

Depending on whom you ask, the answer is a resounding “no.” Many experts believe the comparisons between Pink Slime and Tuna Scrape are unfounded, as the fish product is not treated with ammonia or other harsh chemicals. The location of the meat on the fish simply requires manual removal unlike the more substantial filet cuts we are accustomed to purchasing for consumption.

As quoted in “What’s the Deal With Tuna Scrape” by Gretchen Goetz of Food Safety News,

“Just because it’s not part of the filet doesn’t mean back scrape is an inherently “worse” part of the fish, says Harry Yoshimura, owner of Mutual Fish Company, Inc., “Usually meat around the bone tastes very, very good,” he says. “And when you get a good fish, it’s really terrific.”

To concur with Yoshimura, as far as the FDA is concerned, Tuna Scrape does not pose any more of a health risk than consumption any other raw fish. The fact that this meat is collected from the backbone does not in any way impact the safety or nutrition of the meat.

The risks associated with your run-of-the-mill Tuna Scrape are the same risks you take every time you eat Sushi at your favorite restaurant. The real risk as far as any studies can hint at, is in eating imported raw meats including Tuna Scrape, which make up ¾ of all seafood in the United States… sounds inticing doesn’t it?

Who wants to worry about the safety of the foods they’re preparing for their family and friends? The quality seafood delivered right to your door from Passanante’s Home Food Service exceeds all HACCP standards and is delicious! Choose safety, quality and convenience over the imported grocery store imitations. Trust Passanante’s to deliver only the best foods for your family.

“Pink Slime”

“Pink slime”.  You may have heard the buzz about the use of this ammonia treated meat filler and the recent rejection of this product by major fast food chains including McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King. We, for one, are happy to hear that this bubble gum colored meat paste of animal waste trimmings, connective tissues and fat will no longer grace the buns of drive-through burgers.


Photo Credit: Michael Kindt

Once collected, the meat trimmings are sprayed with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. According to MSNBC, ammonium hydroxide is a powerful chemical with the potential to turn into ammonium nitrate—a common component in household cleaners, fertilizers and homemade bombs. Sounds healthy?

Many members of the health and food community including microbiologists and food safety inspectors agree these “lean beef trimmings”, originally called “soylent pink”, are a high risk product and should not be confused with real meat. Fortunately, an ABC News investigation discovered just how much pink slime has infiltrated America’s meat industry.

Shockingly, up to 70% of the ground beef found in supermarkets across America contain the less than appetizing pink paste. And it doesn’t stop there. The USDA is purchasing 7 million pounds of the slime for school lunches as reported by The Daily.

Naturally, the USDA insists this unnatural and chemically treated tissue paste meets the highest standard for food safety and even argues its nutritional equivalence to ground beef. Fortunately, the public outcry against pink slime is bringing this problem into the forefront of the meat industry conversations, and hopefully our grocery stores and school cafeterias will safe from “pink slime” in the future.

Passanante’s is committed to providing our customers with natural, hormone-free, chemical-free, safe and delicious meats. Treat your family to the real deal, not pink slime. Give us a call today at 1-800-772-7786 to speak to a member of our team about eating better!