Food Safety Authority Norway concerned about certain fish at sushi restaurants


Most Norwegian sushi restaurants have stopped using the hazardous fish, ‘escolar’, for sushi, after a nationwide Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) control.


Eaten raw, escolar can cause health hazards and is not in line with the Food Law’s safetyprovisions. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has collected 50 samples from all over the country, according to a press release.

It was in 2017 that the TV 2 Food Inspectorate discovered that ten sushi restaurants in Oslo sold the hazardous fish escolar as ‘smørfisk’ (butterfish).

The Food Safety Authority’s follow-up of the sushi restaurants revealed two cases of sales of escolar. After the episode on TV 2 last September, most of the sushi dishes from the control have dropped butterfish from their menus.
This fish contains a lot of indigestible fatty acids and in the raw state, can create diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and headaches.

In addition to the local follow-up action in Oslo, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority conducted a major analysis program. In this connection, 50 samples were analysed from sushi restaurants across large parts of the country.

“Mattilsynet’s experience was that most places have stopped serving butterfish, and it has therefore been difficult to obtain sample materials of this fish type. The Food Safety Authority found only one place that served butterfish. This turned out to be escolar. This case was followed up”, said senior adviser, Aina Svenneby, at Mattilsynet.


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