Thursday, March 1, 2012

Mold in Bear & Wolf canned wild salmon from Trident?

Some of the ingredients for canned-fish salad.

Editor's note: Today, I report on how I turned green when I opened a can of wild salmon. I also describe a shopping trip to Trader Joe's and Fairway Market, both in Paramus. At the latter, I saw another shopper put roasted coffee beans to his nose.


I took out two cans of wild Alaskan salmon, a can of yellow-fin tuna and another of Moroccan sardines to make fish salad with chopped red onion, mayo, Dijon mustard and cumin.

Of the canned fish, the salmon went in last, but when I upended the second can and dumped it into a bowl, I noticed what looked like mold covering the bottom of the salmon.

I thought at first it might be skin, but the salmon was skinless and boneless. I tried to remove the part covered by mold and continue making the salad, but eventually dumped everything in the garbage.

The Bear & Wolf Pink Salmon was from Costco Wholesale, but I have been buying it for more than a year and have never encountered such a problem before. I could not see any damage on the can.

Today, I looked at the Web site of Trident Seafoods Corp. of Seattle. Wash., maker of the canned salmon and other seafood products sold at Costco. The FAQs for canned salmon don't address mold.

The site says salmon are usually canned in the summer and have a shelf life of six years.

The cans contain wild-caught Pacific salmon from Alaska with no mercury. I sent an e-mail explaining what happened, and I'm awaiting a response.


Click on the following link for Trident's response:

The Nose

I had lunch with a friend at the Suburban Diner on Route 17 north in Paramus and then continued north to Trader Joe's and Fairway Market to pick up a few things.

Fairway was selling its extra-virgin olive oil -- a blend from Spain, Greece and Italy -- for $4.99 a liter, with a limit of two. I believe the regular price is $8.99.

I also stopped at the butcher's counter for beef oxtails, hoping to improve on the ones we got from Costco that were mostly fat and bone. 

Fairway's oxtails looked better and were $6.29 a pound, compared to $4.49 a pound at Costco.

I picked up a small wedge of Spanish Fig Cake with Almonds ($9.99 a pound), an item I haven't seen elsewhere, and a pound of Brazilian Dark Roast coffee beans, Turkish grind (on sale for $6.99 a pound).

I almost didn't buy the Brazilian coffee after seeing a man grab some of the store-roasted beans and put them to his nose, then throw them back. He did the same with beans from another bag, but used a metal scoop the second time.

I guess this shopper doesn't know the real aroma is when the beans are ground. I don't think you can tell much by sniffing the beans.

"Sir," I said, "you really shouldn't have put your hands in the beans and put them up to your nose."

He agreed, saying he realized that, though too late, and that's why he used the scoop for his second sniff test. Little comfort. 

Jazz apples

At Trader Joe's, I bought two packages each of uncured, preservative-free bacon and uncured beef hot dogs, both from animals raised without antibiotics ($3.99 and $4.29 each, respectively).

A 64-ounce bottle of Organic Lemonade (18% juice) was $2.99 and a 32-ounce container of Organic Plain Low Fat Yogurt also was $2.99.

A 3-pound bag of small, crisp Jazz apples was $3.49 or $1.16 a pound.

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  1. Hello. Just wondering if you ever got a reply from Trident Seafood (Costco canned salmon/mold on bottom)???

  2. I did, but I don't recall Trident addressed my specific complaint.

    Trident sent me a bunch of coupons for free products.

  3. We recently bought Trident canned salmon and upon opening the can found it to be not salmon but tuna. I called Trident and they denied the possibility and sent me some coupons. Anyone else had a similar experience?

    1. A Trident spokeswoman addressed this comment:

      "It is, in fact, impossible for there to be tuna in our Bear & Wolf Pink Salmon cans, simply because it is not a species of fish which is natural to Alaska. Also, canned tuna is not something we produce."

    2. Another possibility is the pink salmon is pale and could be mistaken for tuna.

  4. Meanwhile, I haven't been able to use the coupons I got from Trident.

    Costco Wholesale doesn't accept them, and I'm having trouble finding stores that carry Trident seafood, especially the frozen variety.

    Stop & Shop does carry Trident, but the selection is small.

  5. I wonder if you've heard that Trident salmon in cans is processed in China? I just found the product in our new Costco and was totally disappointed at fish processing being done in factories overseas. Thank you

    1. No. I haven't purchased that item recently, but will take a look this week. Most of Trident's fish are from Alaska. How it makes economic sense to process fish in China eludes me.

    2. Here is an answer from Trident Seafoods:

      "Some, but not all, of our items do have initial processing done overseas, with final processing done in Washington State. Our canned salmon items, such as the Bear & Wolf Pink Salmon, do not have overseas processing. The salmon are harvested in the Pacific Ocean (Gulf of Alaska, Bering Sea, etc.) and canned in Alaska, within 24 hours of being caught.

      "Please be assured, we maintain strict oversight of all of the fish we sell, from start to finish. For those items which have partial processing done overseas, the fish are processed in contracted facilities where we have on-site Trident Seafoods operations and quality assurance personnel insuring the safety of the food. Additionally, the facilities we use are inspected and certified to the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)."

  6. I have eating Trident salmon and got real sick!

    1. Sounds serious. It also affected your writing.

  7. Hi Victor, Making a claim that a can of salmon had mold is pretty serious business. With the packing code,taken from your can of (moldy?) salmon and provided to Trident, what was their follow up? What kind of consumer valuable information can you relay to the masses?

    Thank you. Sincerely, Doug Hatfield

    1. Doug:

      I covered it in a subsequent post. There was no acknowledgement of the mold.

      Cut and paste this link:


Please try to stay on topic.