Is Florida Seafood Safe to Eat?

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By: Garin Flowers

Tallahassee, Fla. -- April 20th of this year marked the third year since the devastating Deepwater Horizon explosion.

11 people died and millions of gallons of BP's oil spilled out into the Gulf of Mexico. That not only caused fear for swimming but also with consumption of seafood.

"We want people to know that it is safe to eat Florida seafood, we produce some of the best seafood in the world," Erin Gillespie, Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services, said.

Erin Gillespie works for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Her office released new results of tests performed on more than 3,000 seafood products out of the Gulf, and they say everything turned up clean.

"We go out on our own and test seafood. We actually have people who are harvesting seafood send products to us as well," Gillespie said. "So, we'll test any seafood, we have labs right here in Tallahassee and other parts of the state where we do extensive testing."

The department has worked on this study since Augusut of 2010. They tested many different species including oysters, crabs, shrimp and finfish; they searched for oil contamination and dispersant, but say the findings were all well below the federal government's levels of concern.

"We really just want people to be assure that the seafood is safe, we don't want people to be scared to eat the seafood in Florida or think that their might be oil in there or any other type of chemicals," Gillespie said.

We spoke with the manager of one seafood restaurant here in Tallahassee. He said business has been fine and just wants the talk about the oil to go away all together.

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