LAS VEGAS, Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- The BP oil spill, tainted seafood imports, elevated mercury levels and limited government oversight are significant concerns on the growing list of threats to seafood safety. These threats represent an unprecedented challenge to the American seafood industry. In response, Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI) has greatly expanded its Safe Harbor Certification program to include real-time, low cost screening for select pathogens and histamines in addition to its established mercury testing certification program. MASI is partnering with Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company, one of the top 10 seafood distributors in the United States, in launching this highly sophisticated and independent seafood testing program in Las Vegas with the goal of making Las Vegas the safest city on the planet for seafood. MASI plans to expand Safe Harbor Certification nationwide in the coming months.
Many prominent restaurants, retailers and distributors in Las Vegas have already joined the Safe Harbor Certification program. They include T-Bones Chophouse & Lounge at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa; Hank's Fine Steaks & Martinis at Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino; AquaKnox and Tao at The Venetian Las Vegas; Lavo and Table 10 at The Palazzo Las Vegas; Beso Steakhouse and Mastro's Ocean Club in Crystals at CityCenter; Emeril's New Orleans Fish House at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino; Biscayne steak*sea*wine at Tropicana Las Vegas; Ferraro's; N9NE Group Restaurants (N9NE Steakhouse and Nove Italiano) at The Palms Las Vegas; Spago Las Vegas at Caesars Palace; Table 34; the cafe at THEhotel; Mizuya at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino; Glazier's Food Marketplace; Branded Meats and Deli and Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company. Safe Harbor Certified seafood is only available at restaurants and retailers that prominently display the Safe Harbor logo. The Safe Harbor seal is becoming the symbol for the highest assurance that seafood being served and sold has been tested and certified.
"Safe Harbor Certification is the most comprehensive independent seafood validation program ever created to support the seafood industry. The Safe Harbor seal is the highest assurance to consumers, retailers and restaurateurs that seafood has been tested and certified to meet defined standards for mercury concentration, select pathogens and histamines," said Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI) CEO, Malcolm Wittenberg. "Safe Harbor is seafood with confidence."
Today's consumers are more health conscious, savvier about their dietary decisions and more aware of the many ongoing challenges that affect the world's food supply. Consumers want assurances that the food they are eating is not contaminated. Safe Harbor Certification gives consumers the confidence that they are choosing seafood with mercury levels well below those allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has also been tested for select pathogens (such as E. coli and salmonella) and histamines (caused by microbial contamination in certain species of fish).
"We chose Las Vegas for the launch of the expanded and comprehensive Safe Harbor Certification program because Las Vegas is one of the world's leading culinary destinations with top chefs and diverse dining options. The city's reputation for embracing innovation along with the large volume of seafood brought in from around the world on a daily basis made Las Vegas the obvious choice for the expanded Safe Harbor launch," said Wittenberg.
The Safe Harbor Certification program is the only process of its kind in the market today. And MASI delivers it as an in-house, independent testing and validation service testing seafood to the strictest of standards. In Las Vegas, the company's mercury testing equipment and lab for testing pathogens and histamines is located at Supreme Lobster and Seafood Company. MASI technicians work as independent third party testing agents within Supreme Lobster's Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system. To prevent potential hazards and ensure safer food, the HACCP system is designed to identify hazards, establish critical control points in the food distribution process and monitor those critical points. The FDA mandated the HACCP system for seafood in 1995. The FDA directs all seafood facilities to have and follow a HACCP system plan. Safe Harbor Certification is a critical added safeguard that goes beyond identifying hazards and monitoring to actually test the seafood prior to distribution to retail outlets and restaurants.
MASI uses the most advanced proprietary technologies to test seafood. MASI tests proactively for mercury, histamines and select pathogens without slowing processing operations. Testing takes one minute for mercury, one hour for histamines and 20 to 24 hours for select pathogens. These tests combined cost seafood proprietors on average only cents per pound of seafood. There is currently no other seafood industry or governmental testing program as efficient or economical as Safe Harbor.
Safe Harbor Certification is the first venture of Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI). For more information about the technology, standards and practices behind Safe Harbor, please visit www.safeharborfoods.com.
About Safe Harbor: Safe Harbor Certification is the first venture of Micro Analytical Systems, Inc. (MASI), headquartered in Emeryville, CA. Safe Harbor certification utilizes a proprietary testing technology exclusive to MASI and capable of accurately measuring mercury concentrations within all species of fish. Founded in 2002, MASI conducts the testing in plants and distribution centers worldwide. More information is available at www.safeharborfoods.com.
SOURCE Micro Analytical Systems, Inc.