At some restaurants throughout the metro Atlanta area, ordering seafood isn't as simple as choosing from the menu and receiving what you expect. Several local eateries are serving mislabeled fish, reports WSB-TV, dishing out Asian catfish instead of grouper.
Among the restaurants reportedly serving catfish instead of grouper:
- Blue Ribbon Grill, Tucker
- Tony's Sports Bar and Grill, Sandy Springs
- Thrive, Downtown
- Majestic Diner, Poncey-Highland
- Bay Breeze, Mableton
- Crawfish Seafood Shack, Buford Highway
- The Wing Factory, Chamblee
Of the restaurants that responded to WSB-TV, only Blue Ribbon Grill partner Eddie Smyke acknowledged that his restaurant was selling cheaper fish, but he said the mislabeling on Blue Ribbon's online menu was a mistake: "(An) oversight on our part. We did want to make sure we were not misidentifying the fish as grouper."
The remaining respondents blamed the mislabeling on seafood suppliers.
Majestic Diner owner Tasso Costarides told Channel 2 Action News by email he was thankful this was brought to his attention. He has contacted his vendors on this issue. The Majestic Diner may offer a substitute for menu items if they are unavailable, but said it is their practice to inform guests about the substitution.
The suspicious seafood was discovered by University of South Florida researchers who "tested restaurant and raw grouper samples from across metro Atlanta, using a new technology designed to quickly detect mislabeled fish." One researcher told WSB-TV the mislabeling is fairly common.
"Why do we need this test?" Strickland asked researcher Dr. John H. Paul.
"Because as much as 30 to 40 percent of the seafood entering the country is mislabeled. Sometimes accidentally, but sometimes fraudulently,"