NOAA and the FDA have joined forces to hire the Michigan-based International Food Protection Training Institute (IFPTI)
to get seafood smellers down to the Gulf to test for oil tainted oysters, shrimp, and fish. Having humans sift through seafood to pick out any olfactory oil evidence is surprisingly effective and also much cheaper than sending samples off to labs.
"Inspectors are taught not to let their sight confuse them. To just go by the smell, because oil can be washed off or masked with something else," says Joan Bowman, spokesperson for IFPTI.
It's important to remember that all of the Gulf sourced seafood is still safe to consume. The sniff test approach is just one of many measures in place ensuring that all of the Gulf seafood on the market remains safe.