Progreso, Yucatán, (August 13, 2021) .- Restaurant owners on the Malecón and nearby ports require the authorities to carry out an inspection in the more than a thousand establishments dedicated to the sale of marine products since it was confirmed through tourist complaints that there are establishments that sell instead of fresh products, frozen white Nile Fish fillet, which is characterized by being of low quality and with a price of up to 60 pesos per kilo, apart from the fact that its intake could cause severe gastrointestinal problems.
“It caught our attention that, since the middle of the current summer holidays, many people have complained about the seafood, and then we began to notice more and more evidence about the sale of frozen fish that some small fishmongers offer to people, deceiving them that it is a grouper or mojarra, ” said the businessman and former head of the National Chamber of Commerce (Canaco) in the port, Víctor Nicoli Muñoz.
The restaurateur, who condemns this type of deception, added: “Of course part of the problem is that you can go to Costco or a Sams Club (or even Walmart) to buy frozen fish. Restaurant owners can save up to 70 percent in expenses if they offer frozen instead of fresh fish”.
“Due to the pandemic, many unethical restauranteurs are trying to deceive customers to make an extra buck, ” said Ricardo Flores Chan from “Capitán Flores”.
“Many people don’t know how to differentiate between frozen and fresh fish,” he said.
“10 kilos of mojarra cost restaurants between 1,500 and 1,800 pesos, when the same amount of frozen supermarket catfish or bass could cost between 500 and 600 pesos.
Finally, the merchant warns future visitors to make sure of the pale color of their dishes, as well as to realize that the meat is not gelatinous or sticky when it is being chewed since these characteristics are typical of the bass.
The restaurateurs also agreed that the visits by the Federal Consumer Prosecutor’s Office are made up to twice a year, but the vigilance falls on complying with the prices established for the trade or if the scales are not altered, but not on verifying that the public is awarded a low-quality fish fillet when there is another type of advertising on the counter.
Cofepris will carry out inspections
For his part, Harly Vanesa Alcalá Días, head of the Municipal Health Directorate, confirmed that she has registered an exponential increase in patients who come with gastrointestinal problems, although not specifically for having ingested fish in a restaurant.
Ramsés Moguel Méndez, epidemiologist and head of the Health Center with Expanded Services, states that, although they have not had an increase in the number of patients with problems of this type, they are conducting an analysis of the cases to determine which could be related to fish consumption.
As a precautionary measure, the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Sanitary Risks will be conducting inspections in establishments that serve products made with specimens of the sea.
This same organism in previous years has detected seafood with certain levels of mercury, despite its low levels, this is dangerous for human health.
Dr. Eloy Alcalá Solís indicated that catfish could have a serious load of parasites that could cause colic, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, erythema (red skin), even symptoms of more serious poisoning such as shortness of breath.