People are dyeing cheap tuna pink so they can sell it as fresh fish
(Picture: Getty)

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: trust no fish.

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After news that our sushi is not only often mislabeled with the wrong type of fish, but also might contain microbeads, we didn’t think we could take any more fishy betrayal.

But it just keeps coming.

A new report from a European Commission document seen by IntraFish states that people are dyeing cheap tuna with vegetable extracts so they can sell it as pricier fresh fish.

A chunk of prime yellowfin tuna fish steak lies after filleting on a table in a processing factory on the island of Himmafushi, Maldives. The 50kg carcasses have been swimming across the Indian Ocean non-stop since birth and having just been line-caught by freelance boat crews who share profits for only high-quality fish that passes stringent health tests. The tuna has been encased in ice since being landed at sea to keep a low-temperature body core so the workers cut out the prime flesh as quickly as possible before boxing the resulting chunks of steak for export by air to Europe and in particular for customers such as UK's Sainsbury's supermarket. The Sri Lankan butchers are ex-fishermen and widowers, having lost their families during the Tsunami. Using extremely sharp knives, they skillfully remove valuable meat and throw away the rest. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)
(Picture: Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

The vegetable extracts used are high in nitrates, so are able to turn cheap fish the bright pink you’d expect from fresh fish.

That means people are able to fob off the cheap stuff as fancy fresh fish you can eat raw in sushi restaurants.

Which is pretty rubbish, as fish that’s not actually fresh is often not safe to eat raw. Meaning that these fish-dyers aren’t just cheating us out of our cash, but are risking our health, too.

IntraFish reports that the tuna-colouring tends to happen in Italy, France, and Spain, so it’s not too much of an issue in the UK just yet.

So there’s no need to panic and start running around restaurants throwing fish at chefs and calling them liars.

Sashimi on plate with chopsticks, bowl of rice in background, close-up
(Picture: Getty)

But it’s probably worth being a little more cautious when it comes to ordering fresh fish. If it’s cheaper than it should be, you’re buying budget sushi, or the restaurant’s a bit vague about where their fish is coming from, maybe skip it.

If your fish is cooked and you’re not too bothered about what it actually is (as long as it tastes good), you’re probably safe. Enjoy.

H/T The Independent.

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