Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Safeway Halts Chilean Salmon

Safeway has halted some purchases of farm-raised Chilean salmon over concerns about a virus that is killing millions of fish in Paraguay.

The salmon virus is not affecting consumers but is affecting the quality, taste, and size of the salmon.

Eleven of the 21 fish farms in Chile that have been affected by the outbreak are operated by Marine Harvest, which discovered the virus in July 2007. Chile has 1,035 salmon farms.


Safeway made its decision to restrict some purchases of Chilean salmon after an article on March 27 in The New York Times reported the spread of the virus saying  environmentalists were concerned about the elevated use of antibiotics in Chile’s salmon industry.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was planning an inspection trip to assess Chile’s overall controls on its farmed salmon.

I was in another grocery store last week and saw a big bin of salmon and my mouth started to water. I picked up a package then looked at the label – salmon from China.

I put it back.

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