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Jan 6, 2012 05:09 PM

Who is responsible?

Here's the situation

Fish caught by company located in Oregon
Fish processed in China
Fish sold in Los Angeles

From this link

"Fish looks good frozen in the plastic, however upon defrosting and cooking/grilling :
the flavor is disappointing, not fresh or good tasting. This is not Grade A salmon.
Not sure what the problem is, maybe too much defrosting and freezing/not fresh.
Whatever liquid ? is being injected into the increase the weight"

While I initially thought it is the ultimate responsibility of the last seller, I'm wondering.

The poster contacted the company in Oregon without a response.

My gut reaction was 'Why?"

A million things could have happened to that fish in that long journey.

However, if a head of lettuce or a cantelope makes people sick, it it the responsibility of the farm.

This is a bit different, as it is just a poor quality product. If it is inedible, who should be held responsible?

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  1. They bought fish caught in Oregon, processed in China and sold in LA and complained that it wasn't fresh? I find that very funny. But to your question, I would go to the people I bought it from, just like I do with anything I buy...if they won't help then I might go to the manufacturer. If it's a single piece of fruit I will usually let it slide, but most often I just go to the store and tell them it was bad, even when I don't have a receipt. They always tell me to just get another one of whatever it was and don't charge me.

    1. Whatever company puts its name or brand on the packaging containing the salmon when the person buys it is responsible.

      With produce it is a bit different. Usu. the farm the grows the produce, also processes it, packages it, and sometimes even ships it.

      1. The law may be different in America but, in the UK, the complaint would be against the retailer.

        1. Since SO many reason exist as to why the fish did not suit the person who ate it, including themselves, I'd say no one is to blame. (and let's not forget, was it farmed or wild caught)

          If lettuce, melon or scallions makes a person sick, which could only be gone via a bacteria ( such as e coli) then, only the grower could control that and thereby be responsible.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Quine

            "If lettuce, melon or scallions makes a person sick, which could only be gone via a bacteria ( such as e coli) then, only the grower could control that and thereby be responsible."
            Even that can be complicated. For example, in the recent European E coli outbreak, the responsible party wasn't the various farms that grew the produce in question but a seed company that sold to many farms in multiple countries.

            1. re: cowboyardee

              But, it does not negate the point that the cause of the illness (bacteria) has only one source, hence fault/blame can be exactly placed.

              Really seeds, wow, that really does make you wonder for the upcoming garden planning season.

          2. Looking at the Oregon company's website it seems they are an importer, sourcing product from all over the world packaged according to their specifications. They also have multiple distribution centers in the U.S. - to maintain the seafood at the proper temp and decrease the time it takes to fill the order of the retailer or food service customer.

            The poster in the initial thread notes that the grocer doesn't stand behind anything after 7 days...which brings up possibility of the poster not being able to store it at the correct temperature.

            Responsibility varies depending on the problem. This seems to be either an issue of inferior quality or a glitch in proper handling without health consequences. The price points to inferior quality. The grocers response hints of the poster not being able to maintain proper temp. at home. I don't think most home freezers can store as well/low as a commercial freezer. Frost free freezers remain that way by cycling through warmer temperatures - which affects the storage life of food.

            First step: purchaser needs to be sure they provided proper storage conditions.

            If so, approach grocer. Even if grocer doesn't offer a solution, at least they know customer wasn't happy with product. If it happens with frequency they may drop the product.

            At this point I personally would chalk it up to a lesson in getting what you paid for. On the off chance that it was a batch which was handled poorly the poster could contact the distributor - but I would be surprised if they do anything. Unless that batch had numerous complaints they will figure improper storage once it left their facility.

            1 Reply
            1. re: meatn3

              Yeah, I like that solution. if people don't at least register a complaint then inferior products continue to be sold.

              The local grocer has a clue that they might be selling a bad product which would reflect on them.

              Depending on how much someone cared, they might contact the distributor, but like you, I don't think most would respond. However, miracles do happen and it might clue a good company that something is going wrong along the line.

              China doesn't get a pass. Not that there's anyone you could contact, but the continued dishonest and often unsafe food handling practices of that country just makes me pass up anything clearly marked a being touched by anything there. However, as in the case of honey, China is doing sneaky stuff like sending products to other countries so that China never appears on the package.