Emeryville, California (EastBayDaily) — Royal Hawaiian Seafood, a San Francisco wholesale seafood distributor, is teaming up with Bay Area seafood certifier Safe Harbor to become the nation’s first seafood wholesaler providing independent verification that all of the fish it distributes is accompanied with traceability information and is within key government safety guidelines.
Safe Harbor certification assures consumers that their seafood is tested and contains mercury levels much lower than FDA requirements. Certification also ensures histamine levels within FDA guidelines, and the seafood is screened for gamma-ray emitting radionuclides. Royal Hawaiian provides Safe Harbor-certified seafood to 36 restaurants, hotels and grocers throughout the greater Bay Area.
“We are excited to provide Safe Harbor-certified seafood to our customers,” said Jordan Bow, founder and owner of Royal Hawaiian Seafood. “Our mission is to redefine quality seafood to mean safe, sustainable, tested and traceable. We believe quality seafood should not only be fresh and taste great, but be low in contaminants and harvested in an ecologically responsible way. We’re quite proud to be the first seafood supplier to adopt Safe Harbor as the new standard for all our customers.”
Restaurants and retailers supplied by Royal Hawaiian Seafood know that the Safe Harbor certification assures the safety and quality of the seafood they purchase. “We are very proud to champion this movement in seafood safety,” said Rick Bartram, Executive Chef of Mandarin Oriental, San Francisco, Silks and MObar, and the first adopter of the Safe Harbor certification program in the greater Bay Area. “We’ve always sourced the highest quality products and ingredients, but with this we can guarantee the seafood we serve is the highest quality, safest seafood available.”
Chef Mark Stark of Starks Group Restaurants says Safe Harbor certification is good for San Francisco seafood consumers, and good for business. “The Bay Area is a haven for foodies – our guests are educated and their confidence in seafood is undermined by so much of what they read and hear. Safe Harbor Certification helps restore confidence in seafood, which is good for everybody.”
Current events make the certification even more meaningful, said Phil’s Fish Market Owner Phil DiGirolamo: “With the recent earthquake and tsunami catastrophe in Japan I think Safe Harbor is a way to guarantee wholesomeness and quality seafood to the end customer.”
Safe Harbor tests and certifies seafood to beat FDA standards for mercury and histamine concentration, using a rapid, large-scale and low-cost process. Large fish and fish known to contain higher levels of mercury are tested individually, and all other fish and seafood are batch tested. Products where histamine formation is a concern are individually tested for histamine concentration, and all seafood products emanating from Japanese waters are also screened for harmful gamma-ray emitting radionuclides. The Safe Harbor certification seal is embedded with detailed information on the enclosed seafood, including country of origin and often the harvest method employed, which helps further seafood sustainability awareness.
The family-owned Antonelli & Sons butcher shop inside Cal-Mart in Laurel Heights sees the certification filling a vital gap in the food safety chain. “It’s imperative for us to show our customers we care about their health and well being,” said a spokesperson. “For us, Safe Harbor offers the validation consumers are looking for when it comes to safe seafood.”
Seafood certified by Safe Harbor is available nationwide where requested by food service organizations, retailers and restaurants. Royal Hawaiian Seafood distributes Safe Harbor-certified seafood to thirty of the Bay Area’s most acclaimed restaurants and food-service providers, three retailers, and the Palo Alto Hills Golf and Country Club. The retailers are Antonelli & Sons (inside Cal-Mart), Avedano’s Holly Park Market, and two Berkeley Bowl Marketplace locations. Restaurants and food-service providers include Balboa Café, Betty Zlatchin Catering, Bistro Ralph, Bubba’s Fine Diner, “C” Restaurant in the Clement in Monterey, Velvet Room at the Clift Hotel, Frantoio, La Posta, Carneros/The Lodge at Sonoma, Silks/Mandarin Oriental, Oswald, Pacific Catch, Palace Café, Phil’s Fish Market, Piazza D’ Angelos, Risto Bar, Ristorante Avanti, Ristorante Milano, Sauce, Seven Hills, Skool, Soif Wine Bar, Sushirrito, and all four of the Starks Group restaurants.
About Safe Harbor Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI)/Safe Harbor is headquartered in Emeryville, CA. Safe Harbor certification utilizes a proprietary testing technology exclusive to MASI and capable of accurately measuring mercury concentrations within all individual species of fish. Founded in 2002, MASI conducts the testing in plants and distribution centers worldwide.
For more information about Safe Harbor seafood certification, call Chris Hodge at (530) 574-8466 or visit http://www.safeharborfoods.com.
For more information about Royal Hawaiian Seafood, call Shannon McDiarmid at (541) 521-0225 or visit http://www.royalhawaiianseafood.com.