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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

New Trace and Trust Program Ensures the Quality of Fresh Seafood

The big news out of Boston last week was a Boston Globe report that discovered many seafood restaurants serving mislabeled fish. Pricey red snapper was replaced by far cheaper tilapia in many instances. White tuna was exchanged for a Central American fish called escolar that often causes stomach ailments. These restaurants were often duped by fraudulent wholesalers who made the bait and switch. Good news is that many of the recently opened seafood restaurants in town like Island Creek Oyster Bar and Legal Harborside either employ their own wholesale seafood business or go straight to the source, the fishermen, so they had no problems.

Even better, a new collaboration between fishermen and New England chefs has resulted in Trace and Trust. Fishermen tell chefs where they are going to fish and what they hope to catch. A photo of the catch will then be uploaded on the Trace and Trust website. When the catch is landed, it is assigned a unique ID number and QR code. The fish is then packed on ice and brought to each restaurant. Diners who order the fish receive a card with that same ID number and QR code. They can scan the QR code with their smart phone or enter the ID number on the Trace and Trust website to learn the story of where their fish was caught and by whom. James Beard-nominated chef, Richard Garcia, at 606 Congress, is already using this technique and diners love it. Boston has always taken its seafood seriously. By going straight to the fishermen, the latest round of seafood restaurants ensure that you're getting the finest quality fish.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/01/11 at 01:00 PM
Food • (2) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Thank you for writing about this great initiative and I hope to be able to get as many chefs as I can involved. One quick mention..I have been recognized by the James Beard Foundation for outstanding contributions on numerous occasions but am not a James Beard Award Nominee ( not yet ;)). Those chefs who are nominated deserve that credit, I hope one day I can add that to my resume, but just wanted to make sure I cleared that up. Thanks again!

Picture of Richard Garcia Comment by Richard Garcia
on 11/10/11 at 12:19 AM

Thanks for clarifying, Richard. Soon enough!

Picture of Steve Jermanok Comment by Steve Jermanok
on 11/10/11 at 01:38 AM

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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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