The news organization ran DNA tests on lobster dishes from 28 restaurants across the country. Thirty-five percent of the samples contained cheaper seafood, such as whiting and langostino.
Samples of lobster bisque at three Red Lobster locations reportedly revealed one dish that contained no lobster at all — only langostino.
The other two locations served dishes that contained a combination of langostino and lobster.
While langostino means "little lobster" in Spanish, the crustacean is more similar to a hermit crab — and less expensive than American lobsters.
Red Lobster sent a statement to Business Insider regarding the report:
We serve a variety of lobster, including North American lobster, Maine lobster, Rock lobster and Langostino lobster. Our most recent recipe of lobster bisque is made with a combination of Maine lobster and Langostino lobster. We question the validity of Inside Edition’s test where they found one cup of bisque that only contained Langostino lobster. The combination of Maine lobster and Langostino lobster provides our bisque with the rich, sweet taste our guests love.
We are planning to revise our menu to inform guests that the Lobster Bisque contains both Maine lobster and Langostino lobster.Red Lobster isn’t the first company to face langostino-based backlash. In 2005, Rubio’s Fresh Mexican Grill was sued for using the crustacean in its "lobster burrito." (The case was settled out of court.)