Joe’s Crab Shack Swimming in Artifical Oils

Posted on April 16, 2014 by


Think your eating healthy at Joe’s Crab Shack? Think again. Fish, if you know what fish you are really consuming, is  healthy alternative, and it isn’t the fish at Joe’s Crab Shack that is the problem.

It’s the artificial trans fats, that have the consumer watchdog group, CPSI, reeling, pardon the pun.

Today the food watchdog group is calling on the 130-restaurant company to stop using a partially hydrogenated margarine-butter blend that appears to be responsible for dangerously high levels of trans fat.

Here is what they claim:

Joe’s Pasta-laya, described on the menu as “shrimp and andouille sausage cooked in a garlic butter sauce full of mushrooms, bell peppers, tomatoes and onions served over penne pasta,” has 14 grams of trans fat—which is roughly the American Heart Association’s recommended limit for a week. That’s on top of more than a day’s worth of saturated fat (24 g). The chain’s Crab Cake Dinner (14 g trans) and Redfish Pontchartrain (16 g trans) also contain alarmingly high levels.

The Steampots at Joe’s Crab Shack—Noah’s Ark-like portions of crawfish, shrimp, crabs, clams, mussels, lobster, and/or sausage, served in various combinations with an ear of corn and new potatoes—all have at least a week’s worth of trans fat, thanks to the side of dipping “butter.” The KJ Steampot—so named for its “light Kendall-Jackson wine sauce”—and Joe’s Great Barrier Steampot each have 25 grams of trans fat.

“Joe’s Crab Shack is a nutritional shipwreck of a restaurant chain, ruining expensive seafood with cheap, industrially produced trans fat designed to simulate butter,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “Until the company fixes the problem and switches to a healthier substitute, eat at Joe’s at your own risk—an increased risk of heart disease and premature death.”

Making matters worse, CSPI says, is a highly misleading statement that appears on the Joe’s Crab Shack menu: “We use zero trans fat oil.”

“With that unlawful and deceptive statement, Joe’s Crab Shack is serving up a ready-made class action lawsuit on a silver platter to America’s trial lawyers,” said CSPI litigation director Stephen Gardner.

In 2007, Joe’s Crab Shack publicly said that it was eliminating trans fat altogether. McDonald’s agreed to an $8.5 million settlement in 2005 after it was sued for breaking a public promise to eliminate trans fats from its frying oil.

 “SunGlow tastes, looks, and performs like butter,” Ventura Foods states on its web site, citing its “price stability versus butter” and its “revolutionary flavor delivery system.” But CSPI says that even if Joe’s Crab Shack wanted to stick with cheap margarine instead of butter, SunGlow makes a trans-fat-free version of its European Butter Blend Margarine. (With Steampots selling for between $21.49 and $41.99, consumers might expect they’re getting real butter.)

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Posted in: Family safety