Is Canned Tuna Safe?

A. When Consumer Reports found recently that 6% of the canned light tuna samples it analyzed had as much mercury as the average can of albacore, some people were concerned. What many didn’t take into account was that most of the light tuna tested had one-third of the mercury content of the average can of albacore, and also that the dose of mercury in most fish is too small to harm anyone but a young child or a fetus.

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In 2004, the FDA recommended that young children and women of childbearing age eat up to 12 ounces of lower-mercury fish a week (including canned light tuna, shrimp and scallops), limit their consumption of higher-mercury albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week and totally avoid high-mercury shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tile fish. The intent was to help them maximize intake of omega-3 fatty acids (which are critical to a baby’s brain development) and minimize exposure to mercury (which may thwart healthy growth of the nervous system).

Featured recipe: Spicy Tuna Wrap

Emily Oken, M.D., M.P.H., has studied both sides of this issue. Her 2005 study in Environmental Health Perspectives linked lower infant cognition with both higher levels of mercury and a lower intake of fish during pregnancy. Oken emphasizes that if a pregnant woman chooses to avoid tuna, she should replace it with other sources of omega-3 fats (salmon, sardines, anchovies, DHA-fortified eggs). Oken, who currently is breastfeeding a seven-month-old, continues to eat light tuna—and to feed it to her 2 1/2-year-old.

Our bottom Line: There’s no scientific evidence that mercury in the fish we eat causes any adverse effects in adults. In fact, not eating fish is a far bigger gamble: “Fish protects against stroke and heart disease—two really big killers,” says Josh Cohen, Ph.D., instructor at The Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies at Tufts New England Medical Center.

Free download! Canned Tuna Recipes Cookbook


How can anyone know if the processing methods of any particular company are safe? Contacted John West Tuna supplier and their representative said "luckily we have not had a problem!" I would have thought that good management rather than "luck" would have everything to do with the safety of food being manufactured.


03/12/2015 - 3:00am

If you eat well you will die, if you eat unhealthy you also will die


01/02/2015 - 10:51am

when we are going to finish from this, one day this food is good the other day is opposite, do you thing people are brainless. stop this stupid and contradictory research and results. keep it for you and let us enjoy our life with the food we like. my piece of advice for you do not eat or drink processed or frozen food !!!!!!!!


10/26/2014 - 12:05pm

Canned tuna for the win!


10/23/2014 - 5:25pm

This new study is another ridiculous scare tactic. How did we ever survive cars without seatbelts, infant carseats, lead paint, old playground equipment, liver and onions and now tuna? Funny how I had two perfectly healthy kids smoking cigarettes and consuming tuna. Ridiculous!


08/25/2014 - 2:11pm

We are the worlds Guinea pigs. That is why they say something is good for you one day and not the next. Because they need us to be the lab rats.


06/15/2014 - 2:47pm

if you feed tuna to cats, add several drops of Vit E from a Vit E. oil capsule.... look up on the internet how much, but they do need a little extra E when eating tuna....


03/23/2014 - 7:06pm

I am also looking for Tuna caught a packaged in Canada, why can't I find it.?????


02/10/2014 - 8:17pm

I just want to know if it is good for cats


06/27/2013 - 8:23am

These Studies make me ill. One day something is good for u and the next day its not. Researchers r wasting good money on giving the public inconclusivE results on almost everything today.we need better researchers who know how to test things properly. Get it together or SHUT UP


05/09/2013 - 6:38am

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