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Sardine FAQ's

1. Q: Are BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products Kosher?

A: All BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, and salmon are certified Kosher under the Orthodox Union. The encircled U that appears on the packaging indicates Kosher certification.

2. Q: Do BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products contain any preservatives or glutens?

A: All BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, Salmon, and Tuna contain no preservatives and all BRUNSWICK Tuna, except for the Spicy Thai Chili flavour, contain no gluten. The modified food starch found in some of the sauces is derived from corn. As packaging is updated, all references to modified food starch are being changed to modified cornstarch so that people with gluten sensitivities or allergies will know that these products can be safely included in their diets. For more ingredient information on our products, please see the products section of this website.

3. Q: Do BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products contain MSG?

A: BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, tuna, and salmon do not contain MSG (monosodium glutamate). For more detailed information on the ingredients of BRUNSWICK®  products, please click here to go the Products section.

4. Q: Do BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, Salmon, and Tuna need to be refrigerated

A: BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, Salmon, and Tuna are shelf stable and do not need to be refrigerated unless they are opened. To maximize shelf life, they should be stored in a cool, dry place. After opening, store in a well-operating refrigerator for a maximum of four days.

5. Q: Do I need to cook BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products?

A: No, you do not need to cook BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products. We’ve already done the cooking for you. Our canned seafood products are conveniently ready-to-eat. Our products can also be used as ingredients in dishes that do require further cooking.

6. Q: Do you provide nutrition information for BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products

A: Yes, detailed nutrition information is available for all BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products. Please click here to view this information in the Products section.

7. Q: How can I get my family to eat more fish?

 A: With the abundance of research indicating the health benefits of eating fish, it is understandable to want to find new and interesting ways to eat it more often. We have developed a number of delicious recipes to help you and your family enjoy our products. Each of these recipes has been prepared and tested to ensure it meets our high quality standards. To visit the Recipe section, please click here


8. Q: How is herring caught and is it a sustainable resource?

A: The herring fishery in eastern North America employs mid-water trawlers and purse seiners, referred to as mobile gear, and stationary fixed gear netting known as weirs. Generally, purse seiners and weirs are the favoured fishing methods in Canada, while mid-water trawlers account for the larger proportion of the U.S. catch. Herring caught by seiners and trawlers are quickly chilled and sent to the cannery for processing. Weirs are a traditional type of fishing equipment that are strategically placed in coves or along shorelines frequented  by schools of herring. They are constructed by driving wooden poles into the seabed in a semi-circular pattern and hanging netting to the poles to corral the fish. Once fish enter the main holding area of the weir, they are trapped. The trapped fish are then taken by boat from the weir directly to the cannery where they are quickly processed to ensure the best possible quality. Weirs dot the coast of New BRUNSWICK®  and Nova Scotia in the Bay of Fundy and are active from June to October. The herring fishery is managed in Canada by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans with a licensing system and management plan involving a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) limit. In the United States, management of the fishery is the responsibility of regional fishery councils under the U.S. Federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act. State legislation governs the fishery in inshore waters and is coordinated by the ASMFS under the U.S. Federal Atlantic Coastal Fisheries Cooperative Management Act. Fisheries management plans and associated rules and regulations developed by the NMFS and corresponding state agencies prescribe the terms on which parties may participate in the fishery. Herring is an extremely prolific and fertile species and, depending on spawning conditions, is subject to inter-year variations that do not necessarily affect the long-term stability of the resource. Herring is currently considered to be an underutilized species. The Governments of Canada and the United States with the participation of the fishing industry work together to ensure that large and healthy stocks of herring will continue to remain a sustainable resource.


9. Q: I am on a salt-restricted diet. Can I still eat sardines?

A: Sardines can be an important part of a healthy diet. Sodium is an essential nutrient. Unfortunately, some people eat far more than is necessary. Our BRUNSWICK®  Sardines in Spring Water contain only 200mg of sodium per can. Sodium levels for each of our products vary and are listed in the Products section of this website. For more information on managing your daily salt intake, please consult your physician or a registered dietitian. Please click here to see the Nutrition section of this web site.


10. Q: I am on a weight-loss diet. Can I eat sardines as part of that diet?

A: There are a wide variety of weight-loss diets available to the public. The choice of which diet to follow is a personal one, however, it is advisable to consult with your doctor or local dietitian beforehand. Sardines can be an important part of any healthy diet. Many people on weight-loss diets prefer BRUNSWICK®  Sardines in Spring Water, although our other flavours and sauces are a matter of taste preference.

11. Q: I can’t find my favourite flavours of BRUNSWICK®  Sardines. Where can I buy them

A: BRUNSWICK®  products enjoy wide distribution throughout the grocery and mass merchandiser chains. You may check with your local grocery store manager to confirm that the particular flavour you are looking for is available in that grocery chain. If it is available but simply not on the shelf, ask the store manager to order the product for you. If the flavour is not available at that chain, please check with other grocery retailers or mass merchandisers in your area. If you wish to contact us for help in locating the nearest outlet, please click here.



12. Q: I have to watch my cholesterol. Can I still enjoy my BRUNSWICK®  Sardines, Seafood Snacks, Salmon, and Tuna?

A: Canned fish can be an important part of your diet. Saturated fat, not cholesterol, is the real culprit that increases blood cholesterol readings. Brunswick Sardine products contain between 80 mg and 100 mg of cholesterol per serving.  For more detailed information, please see the health nutrition section of this website.

13. Q: Should I be concerned about mercury in BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products?

A: Fish are an excellent source of high-quality protein, are low in saturated fat, and are one of the healthiest food choices you can make. Mercury is not a concern in BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products. Because mercury has a cumulative effect as it moves up the food chain, small fish, like sardines and herring used in Seafood Snacks, are least affected while larger fish, like swordfish and tilefish, can be a concern to consumers. Although certain types of fish should be eaten in moderation, this does not apply to canned tuna. As added assurance, we operate under QMP and HAACP guidelines that ensure raw materials are in compliance with government tolerance levels. Nearly all fish contain traces of methyl mercury. Canned tuna meets all health and safety standards set by the FDA, which has established the maximum safe level of methyl mercury allowed in commercial seafood at 1.0 parts per million. In the latest product survey by the FDA, canned light meat tuna averaged less than an eighth of that amount, and canned albacore tuna averaged about a third of the maximum safe level set by the FDA. In the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the subject, the evidence showed that fetal exposure to methyl mercury from fish consumption during pregnancy (at the consumption levels seen in most parts of the world and certainly in the U.S.) does not have measurable cognitive or behavioral effects later in childhood. The recent government advisory advises that a well-balanced diet includes a variety of fish and shellfish that can contribute to heart health and children's proper growth and development. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children in particular, should include fish or shellfish in their diets due to the many nutritional benefits. The government's advisory also makes it clear that pregnant and nursing women can safely consume albacore as one of their fish choices. Specifically, the new advisory tells pregnant women they can safely eat up to six ounces of albacore a week, which translates into three full servings. You can continue to eat up to twelve ounces of a variety of fish (such as our light meat tuna) and shellfish each week.


14. Q: What are Omega –3’s and why are they important?

A: Omega-3s are a polyunsaturated fatty acids required to maintain good health. They are one of the "good fats".  Sardines are a source of omega’3s. For more information click here.


15. Q: What are the nutritional benefits of eating omega-3 fatty acids?

A:Research indicates that omega-3 may be linked to a variety of benefits:

- may help to reduce the incidence of heart disease

- may help to reduce total cholesterol and triglyceride levels

- may help to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by decreasing the chance of blood clot formation

- in some cases, may help alleviate the symptoms of asthma, arthritis, hypertension and psoriasis

- may help to reduce the effects of dyslexia

- may help to reduce the risk of stroke in women

- may help to stop arrhythmia


16. Q: What is a herring?

A: The North Atlantic herring is a small saltwater fish that is also known by its scientific name Clupea harengus. These fish travel in huge schools and live in the cold waters of the open ocean ranging from Greenland to North Carolina, U.S.A. North Atlantic herring can reach a size of about 40 cm (17 inches) in length, weigh as much as 0.7 kg (1.5 lbs), and can live as long as 20 years. Herring feed principally on plankton and are found in shallow inshore waters to offshore waters as deep as 200 meters. Herring schools are always in motion and migrate between spawning grounds, feeding grounds, and deep-water wintering areas. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in North America, these delicious fish were an important food for coastal American natives. Herring have been fished commercially in North America for centuries and are sold in a variety of popular food formats including smoked, kippered (lightly smoked), pickled and canned. Herring roe (eggs) is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. Herring has been canned in North America since the late 1800’s. Small herring are canned by BRUNSWICK®as sardines, while BRUNSWICK®  Seafood Snacks use choice boneless herring fillets to ensure a rewarding taste experience. The delicate texture and flavour of herring makes it the perfect partner to a number of great tasting sauces.


17. Q: What is a sardine?

A: A sardine, as recognized worldwide under international Codex standards, is any one of several species of small, saltwater fish in the herring family that are cooked and canned in a special way. BRUNSWICK®  Sardines are juvenile North Atlantic herring that are 5 to 7 inches in length. These tasty fish travel in huge schools and live in the cold waters of the open ocean ranging from Greenland to North Carolina, USA. The scientific name for these fish is Clupea harengus. Sardines have been canned in New Brunswick, Canada and Maine, USA for well over 100 years.

18. Q: What is the best way to open a can of BRUNSWICK®  Sardines or Seafood Snacks?

A: 1. Place the can on a flat surface such as a table or countertop.

2. Hold the can firmly at one end with one hand and with the ring accessible at the other end.

3. With your other hand, lift the ring until it touches the rim of the can to break the score. Make sure you bring the ring back to touch the rim.

4. Pull the ring up and back at approximately a 45 degree angle until the lid is nearly removed from the can. Be careful to avoid the sharp edges of the lid.

5. To completely remove the lid and avoid any splattering, gently move the lid back and forth until it snaps off the can.


19. Q: What is the most popular way to eat sardines?

A: Sardines are enjoyed by people in a variety of ways and lend themselves to a number of delicious preparations. In addition to the traditional sardine sandwich for lunch, sardines are also great in salads, prepared dishes, and as healthy entertaining items. Because BRUNSWICK®  sardines are ready-to-eat, portable, require no cooking, and are available with an easy-open ring pull lid, a number of people also eat our sardines straight from the can. Sardines are also widely enjoyed as a healthy breakfast protein and are great on toast. For great recipe ideas please click here to visit our recipe section.


20. Q: What is the shelf life of BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products?

A: The shelf life of BRUNSWICK®  products can vary depending on whether the product is packed in oil or sauce and the conditions under which the product has been stored. BRUNSWICK®  Sardines and tuna packed in oil generally have a shelf life of 5 years, while BRUNSWICK Sardines packed in spring water or sauce, BRUNSWICK®  tuna in water, and BRUNSWICK®  Seafood Snacks, generally have a shelf life of 3 years. After several years, the main issue is typically a decline in taste quality. For more detailed information, please click here to go to the Product section.


21. Q: What does dolphin friendly mean?

A: Dolphin friendly is defined by the following: - Drift nets are not used. - There are no purse seine sets made on dolphins through an entire fishing trip. - An observer from the National Marine Fishery Service and/or the Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission certifies fishing vessels and trips in the Eastern Tropical Pacific. Fishing methods considered dolphin friendly are long line, pole and line, and the purse seine method in the Eastern Tropical Pacific with certification only. All of BRUNSWICK’S tuna products on the shelf today are certified dolphin friendly and the labels on our products proudly don the “dolphin friendly” indication symbol.


22. Q: What is BRUNSWICK®'S dolphin friendly policy?

A: BRUNSWICK® products remains fully committed to a 100% dolphin friendly policy. This policy guarantees the following: -BRUNSWICK®  will not purchase tuna from vessels that net fish associated with dolphins. Our purchasing agreements require certification of dolphin friendly fishing practices from all tuna suppliers.


23. Q: Is BRUNSWICK®  Salmon Farmed or wild?

A: All of BRUNSWICK’s salmon is WILD - not farmed. Our salmon is caught in the cold waters of the North Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea.


24. Q: I found something that looks like glass in my canned seafood; what is it?

A: Don’t be alarmed by glass like crystals that you may find in your canned seafood. It is simply Struvite, a naturally occurring mineral, magnesium ammonium phosphate, that develops in the can during storage. They are sometimes present as small crystals that impart a grittiness to the product or they may occur as crystals 5-8 mm long. Struvite is not harmful and will readily dissolve in the digestive juices of the stomach. How can struvite be distinguished from glass? Place crystals in a few drops of hot vinegar and they will gradually dissolve, while glass will not. Struvite is extremely rare. If you have any concerns or questions about struvite, please don't hesitate to contact us.


25. Q: Tuna - Why did I find a bone in my tuna?

A: Bones are occasionally present in canned tuna although every reasonable effort is made to remove them. Highly trained personnel trim the loins entirely by hand. After this process, the loins are inspected several times for the presence of any pieces which may have been missed. Through this series of inspection steps, we are able to remove nearly 100% of all bones. On occasion, however, a bone is embedded in the loin and may be overlooked. The high heat sterilization process, after the fish has been canned, will normally soften them to the point where they will easily crumble.

26. Q: Why are there bones & skin in my can of Salmon?

A: The size and quantity of bones and skin in canned salmon will vary from can to can depending on the size of the fish. The high heat sterilization process softens them to the point where they can be easily mashed and blended into salmon salads, casseroles, and other delicious meals. There is no waste in canned salmon -- the liquid, skin, and bones are all edible and supply important nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus.


27. Q: What are Trans Fats or Trans Fatty Acids?

A: Trans fats (also known as trans fatty acids) are a specific type of fat formed when food manufacturers turn liquid oils into solid fats like shortening and hard margarine. However, a small amount of trans fat is found naturally, primarily in some animal-based foods. Trans fats behave like saturated fat by raising low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol that increases your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Trans fats can be found in some of the same foods as saturated fat, such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines, crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, baked goods, salad dressings, and other processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.


28. Q: Are there any Trans Fats in BRUNSWICK®  canned seafood products?

A: BRUNSWICK’s canned seafood products contain 0g Trans fats per serving.


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