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Aug 7, 2013 12:46 PM

Costco Frozen Shrimp (Bagged) from Vietnam

In the freezer section, Costco sells bags of frozen shrimp, cooked, uncooked, various sizes - all at good prices. I've tried them and find them very tasty.

My concern is that I've read a lot of very scary stuff about farmed fish in Vietnam and now I'm wondering if I should be concerned about the shrimp that Costco carries.

This is what I've read about farmed fish in Vietnam:

Any thoughts? Thanks!

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  1. i too used to buy those bags of frozen shrimp from costco. i don't anymore. because of the conditions i've read about (similar to what's described in your link) and because i've recently been able to source wild caught gulf shrimp from my local sprouts, and frozen wild caught shrimp (argentine and mexican) from trader joe's. i really prefer the wild caught, and like to support our beleagured gulf fishermen when possible. those guys can't catch a break sometimes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chez cherie

      Thanks chez cherie. I'm in total agreement about 'wild' versus 'farmed' as well as supporting gulf fisheries. That's something to seriously consider.

      1. re: chez cherie

        Those wild shrimp from the gulf at TJ's have taken a very nasty turn, according to another thread on CH. I have a bag I'm going to return unopened and stick to wild caught shrimp from Whole Foods.

      2. A decidedly less than objective activist piece from 2008 about Vietnamese basa farming practices SHOULD form the basis for ALL your consumer decisions in 2013.

        Here's Costco's (probably less than objective) view:

        4 Replies
        1. re: ferret

          Yes, Ferret, the link I posted is from 2008. I posted my question to get informed opinions from fellow CH's as to whether or not such conditions exist with regard to the farmed Vietnam shrimp at Costco. I think it's obvious that I'm not ssting it SHOULD form the basis for ALL our consumer decisions in 2013.

          And as a Costco member, I've seen the 'sustainability' article in Costco Connection in the link you posted.

          So, other than making sure that we're all aware of your sarcastic nature, do you have anything helpful to add?

          1. re: prio girl

            So I take it that you didn't bother reading the Costco link about the cleanliness and suitability of their farmed seafood products (including shrimp)? The article goes beyond sustainability, see the sections on "Shrimp Aquaculture" and "Identifying Reliable Processors."

          2. re: ferret

            "the shrimp standards are expected to be handed over to the ASC during the first half of 2013."
            this is the only reference i see in the article about costco's farm-raised shrimp, and it tells me nothing. if that's the best face costco can put on their farmed shrimp, that tells me something.

            1. re: chez cherie

              No. It says they're seeking ASC certification of already-established practices which were developed with WWF:


          3. I doubt Costco would sell product that is inferior. In fact the Costco article states quite the opposite. You state you've 'read a lot' What other unbiased articles, any earlier than '08?? Also, what is your intent about this topic?

            6 Replies
            1. re: treb

              Treb you ask what is my "intent about this topic?"
              My intent is clearly stated. I am seeking more information.
              Why the hostility?

              You also ask what have I read in addition to the article above.
              Well to start with:

              As well as this:

              and this:

              1. re: prio girl

                You asked a very specific question about Costco's Vietnam-sourced shrimp. You reference a number of alarmist articles (including the first one which was plainly written by an idiot) that have little bearing on your original question but avoid responses that are directly on-point. Eat what you want, it's of no consequence to the rest of us but if you really want to get a reasonable response to your original topic then stop being so combative.

                Here's some science-based reading:


                1. re: prio girl

                  Not being hostile, just curious if you're reading biased opinionated trash or FDA and other scientific facts. Are you sure TJ's or WF or Wegman's doesn't carry that sourced Shrimp? If you're able to get fresh wild, go for it else, like most of us, it's most likely farmed.

                  1. re: treb

                    No, I'm not sure at all. I mentioned Costco specifically because those are the shrimp I usually buy and I just want to make sure that I'm not overlooking anything with regard to these specific farmed in Vietnam shrimp. We all like to make good healthy food choices don't we?

                    1. re: prio girl

                      Good to research, good to make healthy choices, good that we have the ability to choose what we buy and eat. I'd recommend that you email Costco with your question, it's a good one to ask. However, knowing Costco's standards, I think you'll be comforted about their view on such matters.

                      1. re: treb

                        Thanks Treb and I apologize for reading 'hostility' into your original response.

              2. I have just become a member of Costco because of these shrimp. They are the best shrimp I've found. Made gumbo at my brothers house and he supplied the shrimp. Thawed them out, shelled them and was impressed with the integrity of the meat. Often when I've bought shrimp at grocery stores, even Whole Foods, the shrimp meat is soft and easily tears. Not so with these. And the taste was clean and shrimpy. Not the off taste I've noticed in most other shrimp you can buy these days.

                Seafood Watch rates these very highly and gives them a best choice rating.


                I plan to eat and enjoy.


                1. Remember that article is an opinion article, Try to find research with a .gov.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: treb

                    .gov has not proteced our food or drug supply at all well. I'd rather cast a wider net for information and leave that for last.

                    1. re: mcf

                      I'd prefer wild caught for most seafood but, they're, shrimp, not readily available in most areas. In general, I think Costco does a good job of stocking wild caught seafood.

                      1. re: treb

                        What other fish are reliably wild at Costco? Is the flounder? Maybe cod?

                        1. re: mcf

                          I think it depends on the area of the country you live in but, I've consistently found wild caught salmon (varied species), halibut and ahi tuna. Don't remember on the flounder, cod and haddock but, I assume it's wild caught also. I'll check next time out.

                          1. re: treb

                            The only wild salmon at my Costco is the one I hate, sockeye, including being the only wild smoked one. I'm not sure my store has halibut, will check. I used to by Chilean sea bass, have to check if it's now from an approved locale, love it baked putanesca style. I have only seen breaded haddock at mine, or I'd buy it.

                            1. re: mcf

                              I stay away from most prepared foods so, I wouldn't be looking for the breaded stuff. I've done halibut putanesca on the stove top, great flavor. I usually see halibut later in the week, Thurs Fri and Sat.

                              1. re: treb

                                I don't buy prepared stuff, either. Once in a while I used to buy Phillips crab cakes because they're mostly crab, but not for the past few years. I just notice stuff as I pass by.

                                I do the sauce on the stove, then bake the sea bass in it for about 30 min. The house smells so good from it, in a lusty sort of way. :-)

                                1. re: mcf

                                  Was at Costco today, they had wild caught dover sole. I also asked a person behind the meat counter if cod, flounder and haddock were wild caught, yes. Hope this helps.

                                  1. re: treb

                                    Thankjs for reporting back!