NC restaurant owner will soon be sentenced for falsely labeling seafood. Why this should concern you

Shrimp (Photo: WWAY)

RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — It’s the time of day when Executive Chef Eric Montagne and his crew are getting ready for the lunch crowd.

It’s a group of patrons who will expect the seafood to be good, fresh and local.

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“So really for us, fish goes from the boat to the fish house to here,” said Montagne.

That’s all you’re going to get at Locals Oyster Bar. To make sure it is, Chef Montagne says it’s all about knowing everything about where the seafood is coming from.

“Traceability is always a concern, that’s why it’s important that you know who it is you’re working with, you develop a relationship and form some trust there,” he said.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be trusted. The owner of Captain Neils Seafood, Phillip Carawan, in Columbia, North Carolina is waiting to be sentenced after he pleaded guilty to falsely labeling millions of dollars worth of foreign crabmeat as “Product of the USA”.

Adding to the concern, a University of North Carolina lead forensics team recently released a study that found 34 percent of shrimp they tested in grocery stores and seafood markets in the state were labeled as local but actually came from the Pacific.

Read more here.