LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Restaurants and food service establishments may soon have to notify customers if their shrimp or crawfish are from a foreign country. The bill passed the Louisiana Legislature and is awaiting the governor’s signature.
At Steamboat Bill’s, the shrimp and crawfish are hot and spicy, and owner Kathi Vidrine says they’re American.
“I love our American shrimpers and the shrimpers who fish for Louisiana. I buy all american shrimp, I buy all American crawfish. I support them 100 percent,” said Vidrine.
Vidrine says she does not purchase foreign shrimp or crawfish and predicts the bill to require consumer notification may encourage others to do the same.
“This is an opportunity, whoever is buying foreign shrimp, maybe they don’t know they’re buying foreign shrimp from their vendors. But ask for American. Support us. Support our local economy,” she said.
The bill says food service establishments or restaurants would have to notify consumers on the menu or with a sign at the main entrance.
“Each sign shall be at least 18 inches tall and at least 18 inches wide and shall be written in the English language in letters not less than 1 inch in size and it shall be placed in an open and conspicuous area," said Clair Marceaux, reading from the bill.
Marceaux is an economic developer from Cameron Parish. She says consumers need to know if what they’re eating is of foreign origin.
“If it’s coming from a foreign country, I would ask myself, how fresh can it really be? Aside from the health risks associated with the chemicals may be used to treat these seafood products if they’re coming from a foreign country,” she said.
And she says the bill would help those who earn their living shrimping or farming crawfish.
“This gives our fisheries folks an opportunity to provide crawfish and shrimp that are of the highest quality, are sourced locally, that generate revenue for our economy,” said Marceaux.
Marceaux encourages restaurant patrons to ask about the origin of the crawfish and shrimp they eat.
At last word the bill was still on the governor’s desk.