Lab tests showed that eating six pieces of the tuna sushi, mostly bluefin, a week would exceed acceptable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency levels for mercury, the Times said Wednesday. Mercury levels in tuna sushi at five of 20 restaurants were high enough to warrant legal action by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
"No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks," said Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J., who conducted the testing for the Times.
Gochfeld expected that testing at restaurants elsewhere nationwide would show similar results.
Restaurant owners were startled by the findings.
"Anything that might endanger any customer of ours, we'd be inclined to take off the menu immediately and get to the bottom of it," Drew Nieporent, a managing partner of Nobu NextDoor, told the Times.