Does 'fresh' food really means years in a freezer?

10Investigates finds the seafood you eat may not have been caught as recently you think it was.

When you go out to eat and you order something fresh, that’s what you want, fresh.

But what if that underwater delight had actually been sitting in a freezer for the past three years.

Would you still consider it fresh?

Well, the law does.

Three years. Three months old.

The sign outside Lisa’s Café advertises the crab cakes. But it won’t be advertising this 10-pound box of lobster tails anytime soon.

“That’s the date right there: 09-25-14,” says café owner, Lisa Ammons. Ammons says this box of lobsters is 'three years and three months old.'

You have to go back three calendars to find that date.

And that’s why Lisa is upset.

“They told me that was the date it was produced,’’ says Ammons.

She says she then reached out to her health inspector and the FDA.

“As long as it’s frozen, that’s fine, and to me, that’s not acceptable,” says Ammons.

What is the FDA Food Code?

But as 10investigates found out, it is.

In an email exchange with the Florida Department of Business Regulations, they tell us, "Per the FDA Food Code, the time safety clock stops when an item is frozen and restarts again when the item is taken from the freezer.”

But according to a chart on the FDA website regarding the quality of food stored in a freezer, no fish should be there any longer than six months.

“I am very upset and I think these rules and guidelines should change, because it’s very unacceptable to me,” says Ammons.

© 2018 WTSP-TV


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