Louisiana restaurants now required to label imported seafood
BATON ROUGE – Anyone craving Louisiana's pride and joy—crawfish and shrimp—will now know where the delicacy came from, before digging in. Starting this month, restaurants now have to label if their crustaceans were imported.
Lawmakers feel imported seafood is a health concern. Shrimp from other countries can be loaded with antibiotics and toxins. Restaurants though aren't required to serve Louisiana seafood.
“Most of the time it’s cheaper for a lot of people to buy imported,” said Michael Pearl, the dining room manager at Mike Anderson’s.
Pearl says all of their seafood is locally caught. He believes customers should know where their food is coming from, whether they care or not.
“Some customers probably don't mind [imported seafood], but then there are those that are sold on Louisiana products,” he said.
Earlier this year, dock owner Dean Blanchard voiced his opinions in a now-viral video, asking lawmakers why they didn't require restaurant owners to be transparent. Weeks later, a bill was passed requiring restaurant owners to print on their menu if their crawfish or shrimp is imported.
Restaurants that don't comply with the new labeling will violate the state sanitary code. The Louisiana Department of Health will be enforcing this.