Current Food Topics

Separating fact from myth, our Consumer Affairs specialists explain the stories behind current events in the retail sector that affect you and your family.

 

Animal Welfare

Original post: 3/21/16  | Reviewed: 8/4/17

We closely follow the work of academic scientists studying animal behavior, and have taken that information and talked with our supplier partners to consider whether standards are high enough. Many of our suppliers have relied on the advice of Temple Grandin, grandin.com and other experts like her. As there is better science, we better understand how animals respond to their environment.

Wegmans works with only a few supplier-partners for its own brand of meat, poultry and eggs. In every case, we investigate their operations from beginning to end before we choose them. We personally visit their facilities and evaluate them with our own eyes. Once chosen, Wegmans brand suppliers must conduct periodic welfare audits. These third-party audits include objective, measurable criteria that are based on best practices developed by recognized animal welfare experts. Audit results are provided to Wegmans and we review them. And when science teaches us something new, we encourage our suppliers and the industry to follow.

Learn More About Animal Welfare and Wegmans Brand Meats

Learn More About Our Transition to Cage-Free Eggs

 

Bisphenol A (BPA)

Original post: 6/30/09  |  Updated: 8/4/17

Wegmans has closely followed BPA developments since 2007 and formed a panel of leading independent scientists and industry representatives in 2008 to educate ourselves about the environmental and health implications of BPA and other plastics.

Today, all Wegmans infant and toddler baby bottles, sippy cups, and feeding accessories, as well as our unbreakable drinkware are BPA free. The majority of Wegmans brand canned products including tomatoes, most vegetables and fruits, and most pet foods, are now packed in cans with liners made without added BPA, and they have been tested for shelf-life and product quality. Our suppliers continue to make progress. By early 2018, all Wegmans brand canned products will be packed in cans with liners made without added BPA, and updated labels will reflect this change.

For more information and frequently asked questions about BPA, visit the FDA website.


Seafood and Mercury

Original post: 3/19/04  |  Updated: 8/4/17

Attention:

  • Women of child-bearing age
  • Pregnant and nursing women
  • Small children

Fish and shellfish are part of a healthy diet and good sources of high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, but the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency advise women of child-bearing age, especially pregnant and nursing women, and young children to avoid consumption of certain fish due to higher levels of methylmercury, which could have an effect on developing nervous systems. These fish include shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish.  

The FDA and EPA recommend selecting a variety of other fish and shellfish, and limiting consumption to 12 ounces of fish per week for adults and four ounces per week for young children. Low mercury options include shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock and catfish. Canned albacore should be limited to four ounces per week for adults and two ounces per week for young children.

For more information and frequently asked questions, please visit fda.gov. Wegmans Seafood departments also have information on mercury levels by species.

Wegmans Seafood departments have information on mercury levels by species.

 

Colorants in Farm-Raised Salmon and Steelhead Trout

Original post: 11/15/05  |  Updated: 8/4/17

Traditional farm-raised salmon and steelhead trout sold at Wegmans get their pinkish/red color from an FDA-approved color compound called astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is naturally occurring in these varieties of wild fish because their diets consist of things like shrimp and crab. It’s added to the feed of farm-raised salmon and steelhead trout to imitate those wild diets, and without it, the fish would be grayish in color. Whether choosing farm raised or wild caught, astaxanthin is found in both traditional salmon and steelhead trout. The feed used to raise our E.U. certified organic farm-raised salmon contains phaffa yeast for color instead of astaxanthin.

 

GMO Salmon

Original post: 8/4/17

Wegmans does not currently offer GMO salmon (sometimes called Genetically Engineered salmon), nor do we have plans to do so. In fact, there is no GMO salmon available for purchase or sale in the United States. Some retailers have signed a pledge saying they will never carry GMO salmon, but signing pledges is not something we ever do.

None of our current suppliers are interested in producing GMO salmon. And, our specifications for farm-raised salmon would not permit GMO salmon to be substituted without our knowledge.

The major advantage of GMO salmon is that it will grow in half the time of traditional farmed salmon. If it’s less expensive to raise, the retail price could be lower. That might foster consumer demand, however today there is not even a product available for us to sell, nor are customers asking us for it. That's why we have no plans to carry GMO salmon.

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