"Don't wait until you get sick to start asking questions about where your shrimp is coming from," cautions David Veal, president of the American Shrimp Processors Association, which is based in Biloxi.
This comes after a new U.S. Department of Agriculture analysis shows the Food and Drug Administration rejects thousands of imported seafood shipments each year because the fish is unfit to eat.
Between 2005 and 2013, nearly 18,000 shipments were refused entry into the United States for containing unsafe levels of "filth," veterinary-drug residues and salmonella, the ASPA said. "Filth" is used to describe anything that shouldn't be in food, such as rat feces, parasites, illegal antibiotics and glass shards. Salmonella can make consumers sick, leading to hospitalization and even death.
"The safety of imported seafood clearly continues to be of significant concern, based on the number of shipments refused by FDA," the USDA said in a summary of its findings.