Initially Posted: 07/09/2020 | Last Updated: 09/12/2020
Canned tuna, salmon and sardines reviewed by ConsumerLab.com

Canned tuna and canned salmon compared in this review

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Bumble Bee Sandwich In Seconds Tuna Salad

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Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore In Water

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Chicken Of The Sea Infusions Cracked Black Pepper Wild Caught Tuna

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Chicken Of The Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna In Water

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Deming's Red Sockeye Wild Alaska Salmon

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Genova Yellowfin Tuna In Extra Virgin Olive Oil With Sea Salt

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King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines in Extract Vigin Olive Oil

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Kirkland Signature [Costco] Albacore Solid White Tuna in Water

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Kirkland Signature [Costco] Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon

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Rubinstein's Red Salmon

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Safe Catch Elite Solid Wild Tuna Steak

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Season Brand Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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StarKist Selects Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

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Trader Joe's Chunk Light Skipjack In Water With Salt

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Trader Joe's Sockeye Salmon

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Vital Choice Albacore Solid White Albacore Tuna

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Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

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Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna

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Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna

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Wild Planet Wild Pacific Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil Lightly Smoked

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Summary

  • Why eat them? Canned (or otherwise packaged) tuna, salmon, and sardines are convenient foods that help meet dietary recommendations for protein as well as providing the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA (about 250 mg per day). They can also deliver other nutrients, such as calcium (from edible bones in some salmon and sardines) and small amounts of iron. Eating fish can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease (see What It Does).
  • What did CL find? Among 20 popular canned fish, amounts of DHA and EPA per serving ranged from just 45 mg in a brand of canned tuna to over 1,800 mg in a brand of sardines. In half the products, amounts of mercury and/or arsenic were discovered to be at levels suggesting they should not be eaten more than once or twice per week; such products included five of six the albacore ("white") tunas, two out of six skipjack or yellowfin tunas (the "light" tunas), and two out of three sardines. Two products contained significantly less DHA and EPA than claimed on their labels -- only 46.7% and 74.2% of what was claimed (see What CL Found).
  • Which are best? ConsumerLab selected five products as Top Picks within specific categories of tuna, salmon, and sardines. Each provided a significant amount of DHA and EPA with minimal contamination and at a good price — as little as 60 to 80 cents per 2 oz. serving while some similar products cost twice as much or more. These Top Picks are particularly good choices for people seeking more healthful options to solid white albacore tuna.
  • Are they safe for children? See ConsumerTips.
  • Cautions: In addition to avoiding excessive mercury and arsenic in some products, be aware that fish can cause allergic reactions. See Concerns and Cautions for more information.
UPDATE (2020): Additional products (ready-to-eat tunas, sardines, and another red salmon) were added to this Review in July 2020. Other products were tested in 2018. The year tested is noted in the first column of the Results table.
You must be a member to get the full test results along with ConsumerLab.com's recommendations and quality ratings. You will get results for 20 canned tuna, salmon and sardine products selected for testing by ConsumerLab. In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which canned tuna, salmon and sardine products failed testing and which passed
  • CL's Top Picks, for canned tuna, salmon and sardines
  • How much EPA and DHA is in each tuna, salmon and sardine product
  • How much mercury and arsenic is in each product
  • The worst canned fish -- ones you should not eat more than once a week
  • How much canned fish you should eat as part of a healthful diet, and how this differs for children

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