High Mercury Levels in Chicago (and National) Sushi Restaurants

September 28 2006 - 9:43 PM

Tuna2Almost all pregnant women hear from their docs that sushi is not a good idea for among other reasons mercury levels. The website Got Mercury.org has written up a report on Chicago sushi places measuring the mercury levels. It’s not just Chicago with this problem. They compared similar numbers in San Diego and L.A. Given that many restaurants in Chicago use the same supplier, in spite of a small test group, there may be more of a commonality here.

Restaurants in the study include Japonais, Benihana (two locations), Heat, Matsuyz, Ra Sushi, Sushi Wabi and Mirai. They tested across tuna species including yellowfin, bluefin and albacore.

One should note that the FDA warnings should (and do) apply to all restaurants. This test group was
specific but the message is that fish on the whole seem to be pushing
excessive mercury levels and the solution is federal regulation similar
to that in Canada and the E.U.

Specifically, the FDA warns to avoid fish with mercury levels as low as
.730ppm (parts per million)  for childbearing women and children.
Benihana in Schaumberg and Sushi Wabi both exceeded that amount. That
doesn’t mean the restaurants are in violation of any FDA regulation as
it is an advisory for a specific group. It also doesn’t give a passing grade to any restaurant at all. If you are concerned check out
the website or if you have any more info add a comment.

You can read the full report here.

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