Frequently Asked Questions

We pulled together some of the most commonly asked questions so you could have the answers at your fingertips! Have a burning question you don’t see here? No problem. Just go to our Contact Us page to reach us, and we’ll have one of our experts get back to you.


Nutrition


Omega-3 fatty acids are unsaturated fats found in fish, some vegetables, nuts and seeds. Two types of omega-3s are most beneficial for health: EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Both are found only in fish, like tuna and salmon, and since our bodies can’t manufacture their own supply, we have to get them from the food we eat.

Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids have lower rates of heart disease and high blood pressure. There is also evidence that omega-3s may support brain function, in both children and adults, and play a role in immune health and inflammation.

For more information about omega-3 fatty acids and nutrition, look at the “Benefits of Seafood” section of our website.

Yes, seafood is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D! While you can get some vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, most Americans do not get enough, especially those who live in northern states. Vitamin D is important for bone health, a strong immune system and respiratory health. Seafood, including tuna and salmon, is one of the few natural sources of this important vitamin!

Yes, tuna, salmon and chicken are all-natural sources of the mineral phosphorus, and you will find 10–15% (120 mg–200 mg) of the daily value of phosphorus in a 3 oz. portion of chicken or salmon. We realize many of our customers need to monitor their intake of this mineral, and you’ll see the daily value added to the nutritional information of our products as we update our packaging.

We do! We have a variety of low- and reduced-sodium products to choose from, including Reduced Sodium Chunk Light Tuna, 25% Less Sodium Solid White Albacore Tuna, Low Sodium Albacore White Tuna and No Salt Added Chunk White Albacore Tuna. Check our Product Locator to find them in a store near you or order them online!

Mercury is a natural element found in the environment. Mercury that enters our oceans, lakes and rivers is converted to methylmercury (MeHg) by aquatic organisms, including fish and shellfish, and bioaccumulates in aquatic food webs. Larger, more mature fish have more methylmercury than smaller fish because the mercury accumulates over time. Smaller, more juvenile fish have less methylmercury.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has set a safety standard for all fish and determined the maximum acceptable amount for women who are pregnant; they’ve added a tenfold safety measure as further protection. The standard for canned tuna is 1ppm (parts per million). Remember—this is 10x below what FDA has determined to be a safe level!

All StarKist Tuna is well below FDA’s 1ppm. We follow a robust testing policy in all of our plants and can assure you that StarKist Tuna is safe to eat and falls well below FDA’s stringent requirements. In general, Americans don’t eat enough seafood. Most of us eat 1 serving or less a week, and women who are pregnant eat even less. The nutritional benefits of seafood are numerous and far outweigh any risks.

Seafood is rich in the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, an important building block for our brains and our eyes, both of which undergo significant development during pregnancy and during the baby’s first few years of life. Seafood, like salmon and tuna, is also rich in vitamin D, the antioxidant selenium and B vitamins, all of which are important for a growing child. People who eat more seafood have been shown to have lower rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes.

The FDA and EPA have issued guidance for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, and young children, and encourage them to eat 8–12 oz. of seafood a week for heart and brain benefits for moms and babies. For albacore tuna, the FDA recommends eating up to 4 oz. a week. All other consumers should aim for 8–12 oz of a variety of seafoods a week as recommended by the American Heart Association and Dietary Guidelines.

Selenium is an antioxidant that is naturally found in seafood. Research has shown that selenium is a natural protector against mercury absorption. Selenium attaches to mercury, making it unavailable for absorption by the body (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbagen.2018.05.009).

A 3 oz. portion of tuna contains more than 100% of the daily value for selenium!


Ingredients


Our “Light” tuna is primarily skipjack or yellowfin. Our “White” tuna is albacore tuna.

All StarKist Tuna and salmon are wild caught fish. Our tuna is caught in the Western Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean, and our salmon is caught in Alaska.

Since tuna is a natural product, you’ll notice some natural variation in the color of the fish. Albacore is the only species that can be labeled as “White Tuna”; however, the actual color of albacore tuna ranges from whitish pink to creamy beige. Factors such as the region where the fish was caught, or the age and diet of the fish, can affect the color.

StarKist Pink Salmon ranges in color, from a very pale pink to white, based on its diet. Since our salmon is wild caught, their diet varies, and so the color will vary. Also, once the salmon is cooked in the can or pouch, the pink flesh loses some pigment and becomes whiter.

Vegetable broth is added to some StarKist Tuna products as a flavor enhancer. The broth must consist of two or more of the following: beans, cabbage, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, parsley, peas, potatoes, green or red bell peppers, spinach, or tomatoes. StarKist currently uses potato, carrots, or peas and does not use soy in our vegetable broth.

If you have dietary restrictions or allergies to any of these ingredients, try our StarKist Selects products, in water and in E.V.O.O., in cans or in pouches. These products contain just tuna, water and sea salt, or tuna, extra virgin olive oil and sea salt.

Pyrophosphate is a natural food additive used to help prevent the formation of little crystals called struvite. These crystals look like little pieces of glass but are naturally formed during the albacore canning process. Three minerals that are important for the fish when they are alive—magnesium, phosphorus and ammonia—combine during heating to form little crystals. They are not harmful and will dissolve readily. (If you find a piece of crystal, put it in a little warm vinegar and watch it dissolve!) But we add pyrophosphate to some of our products to reduce the chance of finding one of these little crystals.

The majority of StarKist products are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union. Just look for the (U) Pareve or (U)D right next to the StarKist logo on the front of the pouch! There are a few products that are not certified kosher, including our Chicken Creations® and Tuna Microwavables® products.

Our chicken products do not contain any added hormones. In fact, added hormones are not allowed in any meat, poultry or pork product in the United States. All our chickens are also raised cage-free, meaning, they’re allowed to roam freely.


Product Sourcing


All our tuna is wild caught in the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean. The majority of our tuna is produced in American Samoa (which is a territory of the United States), Ecuador or Senegal. A few of our products are manufactured in Thailand.

All facilities must follow the same stringent United States government regulations as plants located inside the country. The FDA and other United States regulatory agencies regulate our operations. In compliance with federal regulations, if any of our products were produced outside of the United States, or one of its territories, the label will list the country of origin. If a product does not specifically state the country of origin, then you can assume it has been produced in the United States or a US territory.

Please visit Trace My StarKist to see which ocean your tuna came from.

All StarKist pink salmon is wild caught off the Alaskan coast. StarKist’s Wild Pink Salmon, in 14.75 oz. cans, is packed in Alaska. Our small cans of salmon, and salmon pouches, are packed in Thailand using salmon processed and frozen in Alaska.

StarKist’s Premium White Chicken is sourced from farms in the US. It is cage-free and contains no added hormones. Our chicken is packed in the US.

StarKist Co. is committed to protecting the dolphins and was the first company to adopt a dolphin-safe policy in April 1990. We are proud to share with you our worldwide policy to save dolphin lives. This policy states that:

  • StarKist will not purchase any tuna caught in association with dolphins.
  • StarKist continues its practice of refusing to purchase tuna caught with gill or drift nets, which are dangerous to many forms of marine life. StarKist condemns the use of these indiscriminate fishing methods that trap dolphins, whales, and other marine life, along with the intended catch of fish.
  • StarKist was the first major American tuna canning company to make this commitment to the public. We remain committed to this policy and require certification that all tuna we purchase is dolphin-safe. Our dolphin-safe policy includes StarKist Tuna, as well as all our branded and private-label products. StarKist Tuna is labeled with a special “Dolphin-Safe” logo.

Allergens


Most of our products are gluten-free; however, there are exceptions:

  • Tuna Creations® Herb & Garlic contains wheat and barley.
  • Tuna Creations® BOLD with Rice and Beans contains barley.
  • Tuna Creations® BOLD Spicy Korean Style with Gochujang and Tuna Creations® Ginger Sesame contain wheat.
  • Tuna Creations Microwavables® Tomato Basil, Rice and Beans and Thai Green Curry all contain gluten.
  • The crackers in the StarKist Lunch-To-Go® products and Ready to Eat Tuna Salad Kits contain gluten.

Please note that, due to product changes or new product introductions, we recommend you check the ingredient statement for the most current ingredient information.

MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is a natural salt of glutamic acid found in many foods like tomatoes and cheese. It is also a common additive that is used to help lower the sodium content of foods and provide an umami flavor boost. FDA considers MSG a “Generally Recognized as Safe” ingredient, but we recognize that some people describe sensitivities to it, and therefore limit its use as much as possible.

The majority of StarKist’s products do not contain MSG, but our Tuna Creations® Ranch flavor and Tuna Creations® Bacon Ranch do contain it as it’s a traditional component of ranch dressing. It’s clearly identified in the ingredient list on the packages.

While not listed as one of the top eight allergens, we do realize that some consumers may be allergic to sesame. The majority of our products do not contain sesame, but our Tuna Creations® Ginger Sesame and Tuna Creations® Korean BBQ do contain sesame seeds, and they are identified in the ingredient list on the packages.

Yes, mustard is contained in the following products:

  • Tuna Creations® Deli Style Tuna Salad, and Tuna Salad Snack Kits
  • The mayonnaise found in the Lunch-To-Go Kits.
  • Tuna Creations® Herb and Garlic

Please check the ingredient list before purchasing any product as sometimes our formulations change.


Packaging & Storage


  • Pouches including tuna, salmon and chicken have a three-year shelf life
  • StarKist Creations Microwavables® have a two-year shelf life
  • Canned tuna has a four-year shelf life, except the easy-open pull-top cans, which have a three-year shelf life
  • Canned salmon 5 oz. has a four-year shelf life, and the 14.75 oz. has a five-year shelf life
  • Canned sardines have a three-year shelf life

*Please check the “Best By” date on the package.

Because StarKist can and pouch products are sterilized and vacuum-sealed during our canning process, there’s no need to refrigerate them prior to opening.

After you open the can or pouch, you can place any leftovers in a separate food-safe container, place it in the refrigerator, and eat the leftovers within two days.

Yes, our cans are made of 100% recyclable steel.

Due to the complex design needed to endure the manufacturing process, our pouches are not recyclable. However, because the pouches require less energy to manufacture, are more efficient to process, and easier to ship, they’re produced with only a fraction of the carbon emissions needed to make an equivalent number of canned products.

The only pouches that are safe to put in the microwave are our Creations Microwavables®. Our other pouches are NOT microwave-safe and should not be placed in a microwave.


Product Locator


It's easy to find your favorite StarKist product! Just go to our Product Locator and enter your zip code. Then you’ll have the option to click “search nearby” or “buy online,” and all the StarKist products that are sold in your area will be available for you to see. If you’re having trouble finding a product in your area, check back, as our locator is updated monthly. We also encourage customers to talk to local store managers to request that they carry certain items.

Although StarKist Co. does not sell directly to consumers on the website, many of our products are available through online retailers. Go to our Product Locator, select your product, and click “Buy Online” to find where the product is available.

It’s easy! Just visit our Product Locator and select your favorite StarKist product. From there, you can select the product, and press “Buy Online” to see if the product is sold online, or enter your zip code and press “Search Nearby” for a store near you. You’ll see a list of stores that have carried the product in the past 30 days. If you can't find a product in your area, please check back, as our locator is frequently updated. Be aware that, due to fluctuations in sales and distribution, we can’t guarantee that the same stores will have a product available on a specific day. If you don't see it on grocery shelves, check with the store manager to determine when the product is expected to be restocked.

If you don't see the product you’re searching for in the Product Locator, then the product, unfortunately, has been discontinued or is not available. We apologize for any inconvenience, and encourage you to check back at a later date, as distribution may eventually increase.

If you see your product in the Product Locator, but your zip code doesn’t generate any grocery store matches, then the product unfortunately has minimal or no distribution in your area. We apologize for any inconvenience, and encourage you to check back at a later date, as distribution may eventually increase. Or you can click on “Buy Online” to see if it’s available for you to purchase online from a different retailer.

We know consumers are loyal to their favorite products, and we never like to discontinue an item that might be a staple at someone’s house. However, tastes and preferences constantly change, and supermarket shelves have to find space for new launches. Periodically, we examine product sales and are forced to make the difficult decision to keep some products and discontinue others. We hope you can find a new favorite among our many other products.

Our Product Locator will let you know if a product has been discontinued. After entering the product and zip code, you will see a message that the product is discontinued. Or you can contact us at 1-800-252-1587, and one of our Customer Care team members can check for you.

Unfortunately, our products are not available for sale in Canada.


Coupons


Thank you for your interest in our products! We occasionally issue coupons and special offers for StarKist products at your local retailer (at shelf or at checkout). Also, look for downloadable savings and offers via digital apps. Please note that coupon quantities and offers are limited and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.


General Information


We'd love to hear from you! Please Contact Us via our website, and someone will get back to you.

The best way to find out about special StarKist news and offers is by joining our #TeamCharlie online community. Join Team Charlie Now.

For up-to-date announcements and news from StarKist, please follow us on social media:

To learn more about StarKist history, please visit About StarKist. To learn more about Charlie® the Tuna, our spokes-fish, go to All About Charlie.

We have hundreds of delicious recipes for quick snacks, lunches or dinners. Visit our recipe page to search for recipes by meal type or product. Enjoy!

We’re sorry, but we don’t sell StarKist branded items. Occasionally, you can win some swag during our promotional giveaways. Just follow us on social media to learn more.

Please submit the details about your program for our consideration via Contact Us. If we’re able to fulfill your request, someone from our Corporate Giving Team will get back to you.

Thanks for inquiring! Please submit your request via Contact Us. We evaluate these on a case-by-case basis, and we’ll get back to you to discuss the details.

We’re sorry for your experience with your shipment. Since the product was shipped by a third party, please contact them directly to address your concerns.

If you have other questions that are not addressed here, please call our Consumer Care Department—by visiting Contact Us or calling 1(800) 252-1587.