Commercial Fish Consumption Advice
The Minnesota Department of Health provides consumption advice for commercial fish commonly available in restaurants and markets in the state (see Safe Eating Guidelines). This advice is based on mercury levels measured in fish and published by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The FDA sets tolerance levels for contaminants to regulate the interstate sale of fish. Recently, the FDA and U.S. EPA issued fish consumption advice for women (of childbearing age) and children for commonly eaten commercial fish species. The FDA/EPA advice recommends that up to 12 ounces of fish that are low in mercury be eaten per week to obtain the health and benefits of fish and shellfish.
Because fish bought in stores or restaurants do not come with labels that tell you the contaminant levels, or even where the fish came from, it is up to the consumer to ask about the source of the fish. It is important to eat species low in mercury or to eat a variety of fish species to ensure that you do not eat a steady diet of fish with high levels of contaminants.