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Belgium's 'fresh' North Sea shrimp are anything but, expert says
Belgians consume an average of 6,000 tons of North Sea shrimp every year. Fishermen pull some 35,000 tons of the shrimp from the sea annually. Most of the shrimp are shipped off to Morocco, where workers earn €150 to €170 a month to peel them by hand. A few days, and many kilometres later, the shrimp finally return to Belgium to be sold as “fresh” North Sea shrimp.
But the shrimp are anything but fresh, according to Geertrui Vlaeminick of the Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries Research in Het Nieuwsblad. The shrimp are treated with powdered preservatives, or so-called e-numbers, to prevent the product from going off.
“In fact, we don't even know the taste of truly fresh shrimp,” she says, adding that the use of the word 'fresh' on the package only guarantees that the product has not been frozen.