updated 12/30/2009 11:13:11 AM ET 2009-12-30T16:13:11

Italian authorities have seized some 500 tons of bad seafood and shellfish believed to be largely destined for New Year's Eve dinner parties.

Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia said Wednesday that worms were found in some of the fish seized across Italy between Dec. 10-23.

In other cases, mussels defrosted months earlier were passed off as fresh, and fish coming from Asia was passed off as domestic.

Zaia described the food as "garbage" including brine jellyfish. He said organized crime was likely behind it.

The authorities levied fines worth $2.1 million and complaints were filed against almost 300 people, according to the Agriculture Ministry.

No arrests were reported.

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