Monday, June 28, 2010

Does This Smell Oily to You?

"An expressive bouquet, sassy and complex, with elements of slate, sea breeze, and benzene."

Federal seafood inspectors are checking fish and shrimp for oil contamination by smelling them. Um... 'Kay.
"We train people to ... fine-tune their sense of smell to the oil and dispersants from this particular spill ... A panel of 10 expert assessors will smell each of the raw samples and record the odor. The samples are then cooked, and the process is repeated so that the experts may smell and taste the fish in its cooked state."
Fish that passes these tests does get sent for further chemical testing, so we don't have to worry about being poisoned if an inspector has a cold. Still... That must be a heckuva job: professional fish sniffer.

Update: I just noticed in that last line, "smell and taste the fish." So even without crude oil issues, they're eating fish to find out if it's spoiled. Yep, a heckuva job.