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Canned tuna, salmon and sardines reviewed by ConsumerLab.com
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Canned tuna and canned salmon compared in this review

View Larger Image 7229_large_BumbleBee-Tuna-Fish-2020.png

Bumble Bee Sandwich In Seconds Tuna Salad

View Larger Image 6214_small_BumbleBee-Albacore-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore In Water

View Larger Image 7233_large_Chicken-Of-The-Sea-Infusions-Fish-2020.png

Chicken Of The Sea Infusions Cracked Black Pepper Wild Caught Tuna

View Larger Image 6215_small_ChickenOfTheSea-Albacore-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Chicken Of The Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna In Water

View Larger Image 7934_large_CrownPrince-KipperSnacks-CannedFish-2022.png

Crown Prince Kipper Snacks

View Larger Image 6224_small_Demings-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Deming's Red Sockeye Wild Alaska Salmon

View Larger Image 6222_small_Genova-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Genova Yellowfin Tuna In Extra Virgin Olive Oil With Sea Salt

View Larger Image 7231_large_KingOscar-Sardines-Fish-2020.png

King Oscar Wild Caught Sardines in Extract Vigin Olive Oil

View Larger Image 6216_small_KirklandSignature-AlbacoreTuna-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Kirkland Signature [Costco] Albacore Solid White Tuna in Water

View Larger Image 6227_small_KirklandSignature-AlaskanSalmon-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Kirkland Signature [Costco] Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon

View Larger Image 7234_large_Rubinsteins-Salmon-Fish-2020.png

Rubinstein's Red Salmon

View Larger Image 6219_small_SafeCatch-CannedTuna-Small-2018.jpg

Safe Catch Elite Solid Wild Tuna Steak

View Larger Image 7230_large_SeasonBrand-Sardines-Fish-2020.png

Season Brand Sardines in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

View Larger Image 6223_small_StarKist-CannedTuna-Small-2018.jpg

StarKist Selects Solid Yellowfin Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil

View Larger Image 6220_small_TraderJoes-SkipJack-Small-2018.jpg

Trader Joe's Chunk Light Skipjack In Water With Salt

View Larger Image 7935_large_TraderJoes-SmokedHerring-CannedFish-2022.png

Trader Joe's Smoked Herring In Canola Oil & Juices

View Larger Image 6225_small_TraderJoes-Sockeye-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Trader Joe's Sockeye Salmon

View Larger Image 6217_small_VitalChoice-Albacore-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Vital Choice Albacore Solid White Albacore Tuna

View Larger Image 6226_small_VitalChoice-WildAlaskan-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

View Larger Image 6218_small_WildPlanet-AlbacoreTuna-CannedFish-Small-2018.jpg

Wild Planet Albacore Wild Tuna

View Larger Image 6221_small_WildPlanet-CannedTuna-Small-2018.jpg

Wild Planet Skipjack Wild Tuna

View Larger Image 7232_large_WildPlanet-Sardines-Fish-2020.png

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

Summary

  • Why eat canned tuna, salmon and other canned fish? Canned (or otherwise packaged) tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring 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's tests of canned fish find? Among 22 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 more than 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), two out of three sardines, and both herrings. 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 canned fish products are best? ConsumerLab selected six products as Top Picks within specific categories of tuna, salmon, sardines, and herring (kippers). 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 similar products can 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 canned fish products safe for children? Due to the risk of mercury exposure, children should consume smaller serving sizes of fish (based on age) if eating fish twice per week. See ConsumerTips.
  • Canned fish safety and side effects: 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 22 canned tuna, salmon, sardine and herring products selected for testing by ConsumerLab. In this comprehensive review, you'll discover:
  • Which canned tuna, salmon, sardine and herring products failed testing and which passed
  • CL's Top Picks, for canned tuna, salmon, sardines and herring
  • 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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