Something Fishy Going on with Trader Joe’s Tuna: Supermarket Chain Slapped with Lawsuit

Something Fishy Going on with Trader Joe's Tuna; Supermarket Chain Slapped with Lawsuit

Trader Joe’s is currently being sued for underfilling 5-ounce cans of its store-brand Trader Joe’s tuna. A class action claim was filed Tuesday against the company in New York.

The lawsuit brought charges against Trader Joe’s for “cheating customers” and alleged that, “Tests by a U.S. government lab confirm that Trader Joe’s 5-ounce cans actually contain less than 3 ounces of tuna in most instances, and that every lot tested, and nearly every single can, was underfilled in violation of the federally mandated minimum standard of fill.” The underweight cans would allegedly be “illegal for sale in the United States,” according to the documents filed.

The federally mandated minimum standard for this sized tuna can is 3.23 ounces of tuna. Tests carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration showed that, on average, the cans contained between 2.43 and 2.87 ounces of tuna, depending on the variety.

The worst offender was the Trader Joe’s Albacore Tuna in Water Half Salt, which contained, on average, 2.43 ounces of tuna, but the lawsuit also pertains to the 5-ounce cans of Albacore Tuna in Water Salt Added, Albacore Tuna in Water No Salt Added, Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil Salt Added, Skipjack Tuna in Water with Sea Salt, and Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil Solid Light. The lawsuit seeks to charge Trader Joe’s with fraud for selling these underweight tuna cans.

Trader Joe’s has refused to comment at this time, as company policy is not to comment on pending litigation. Trader Joe’s has 355 stores in the United States, half of which are located in California.

This is not the first lawsuit to be filed with regards to underfilled tuna cans. StarKist was recently hit with a similar lawsuit, alleging underfilled cans of four of the company’s 5 ounce tuna varieties. StarKist ultimately decided to settle, and customers who purchased the items in question from the brand between February 19, 2009, and October 31, 2014, can claim $25 in cash and/or $50 in vouchers.

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Trader Joe’s image via Shutterstock

Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco