E.U. Orders Fish Vendors to Quit Bleaching the Seafood

Italian seafood vendors have been bleaching their wares against European law


Europe wants Italian seafood vendors to stop bleaching squid and shellfish to make it look fresher. 

Italy is home to some very good seafood, but some of its vendors may have been adulterating their wares to make it look better to customers, so this week the E.U. sent a strongly worded letter ordering Italian fish sellers to stop bleaching their seafood.

According to The Local, Italian seafood vendors often soak their squid and shellfish in a mixture of water and hydrogen peroxide to make the flesh look brighter and more appealing to customers. That use of hydrogen peroxide is reportedly not harmful to humans, and the Italian Health Ministry has no problems with the practice. The E.U., however bans it on the grounds that bleaching seafood to make it look fresher is a deceptive trick used to make customers buy older fish.

“Hydrogen peroxide is not a substance which the EU authorizes for use with certain foodstuffs,” wrote the E.U. to the Italian Health Ministry. “We therefore ask Italy to provide producers with clear information about which solutions can and can't be used to wash seafood.”


The goal might be to get the information out there, but whether or not anybody actually follows it will remain to be seen.