June 1, 2010
Gulf Oil Spill Update
At a Glance: The latest attempt by British Petroleum (BP) failed to plug the well spilling hundreds of thousands
of gallons of oil and gas into the Gulf of Mexico. As the oil plume grows from BP's ruptured well, so does the
threat to the seafood in those waters. While 26% of the Gulf is now closed to seafood harvesting, the underwater
oil plumes are moving rapidly and could impact an area still opened. Additionally, there are media reports that
some fishermen have been found harvesting shrimp in closed waters. While no contaminated shrimp has yet been
found in commerce, the reports are causing some concern that contaminated shrimp products could enter the
The Issue: Federal and State Agencies are lining up laboratories for testing and are training “sniffers” to spot the
presence of hydrocarbons in seafood harvested from the Gulf. While U.S. Foodservice applauds these efforts, we
are voluntarily implementing additional safeguards to ensure an additional layer of protection for you.
Effective immediately, all Harbor Banks™ and Bluewater™ Seafood from the Gulf of Mexico will be subject
to these additional safeguards:
1. Suppliers harvesting shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico are required to conduct independent testing for
contaminants, and document and report the results of those tests to U.S. Foodservice.
2. U.S. Foodservice Distribution Centers processing shrimp from the Gulf of Mexico will conduct
additional periodic tests for contamination.
3. U.S. Foodservice will regularly ship random samples of Gulf shrimp to a third party laboratory for
Am I Impacted? In addition to the government testing, these three additional layers of monitoring will give you
an added level of protection and confidence in our products. We will continue to keep you up to date on any
further developments with regard to seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
US Foodservice Position: If you buy shrimp from U.S. Foodservice, note that we only source shrimp from
suppliers that meet federal and state standards. If you buy Harbor Banks™ and/or Bluewater™ shrimp from the
Gulf of Mexico from U.S. Foodservice, note the additional safeguards implemented. If you buy shrimp from the
Gulf of Mexico from another supplier, ask about their programs to ensure that their products are not contaminated
by the oil spill.
At this time no oysters, crabs or fin fish have been reported as contaminated or at risk to enter the market.
However, U.S. Foodservice is ready to implement measures similar to our extra precautions with Gulf Shrimp if
or when such risk occurs or increases.
What You Can Do:
• For the latest information on the Gulf Spill impacts, visit WWW.NOAA.GOV
• Purchase all of your supplies from a company with a robust food safety, quality assurance, and
product recall program that can keep you aware of all recall and food safety issues
Finally, count on U.S. Foodservice to keep you informed. We will continue to issue weekly Fast Facts
as long as this crisis continues.