Louisiana Restaurants to disclose use of foreign shrimp and crawfish

31st May 2019 (Last Updated June 3rd, 2019 09:17)

The Louisiana Senate has passed a legislation asking restaurants to disclose whether they serve imported shrimp or crawfish.

Louisiana Restaurants to disclose use of foreign shrimp and crawfish
The Louisiana Senate passed a legislation asking restaurants to disclose whether they serve imported shrimp or crawfish. Credit: Kent Wang.

The Louisiana Senate has passed a legislation asking restaurants to disclose whether they serve imported shrimp or crawfish.

The government’s decision is aimed at protecting customers from “the health risks associated with chemicals and residues in imported seafood.”

Earlier, the bill, authored by Representative Jerry Truck Gisclair (D) Larose, passed the Louisiana House unanimously. It now heads to Governor Jon Bel Edwards for signature.

The provisions of the bill will be enforced by the Louisiana Department of Health through its foodservice health inspection programmes.

According to the bill, any foodservice establishment serving imported crawfish or shrimp are required to display, on their menu, or with a paper clip addition to the menu, that the products are foreign,

It requires restaurant operators without a menu to display a prominent sign with the same information near the entrance.

The American Shrimp Processors Association (ASPA) strongly supported the bill on behalf of the entire wild-caught domestic shrimp industry.

ASPA executive director Dr. David Veal said: “The U.S. has very limited capacity to inspect the billions of pounds of imported shrimp entering our borders each year.

“In 2015, only .1% of imported shrimp were inspected for the presence of illegal veterinary drugs used in most foreign aquaculture. At the same time, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing public health problem impacted by persistent exposure to these drugs.

“ASPA sincerely thanks Representative Gisclair and Senator Chabert for their efforts and congratulates our friends and colleagues at the Louisiana Shrimp Association and  Louisiana Shrimp Task Force for their tireless work supporting this legislation.”