Joe Patti Seafood to harvest Bay shrimp
When Frank Patti Jr. says the seafood is safe to eat, people pay attention.
Today Patti, whose family has been harvesting and peddling seafood in Pensacola for decades, said he’s ready to start harvesting bay shrimp for the first time since BP oil washed up on area beaches last June.
Patti, owner of Pensacola’s iconic Joe Patti Seafood on Main Street, has been one of the biggest critics of the government’s declarations that Gulf seafood is safe. He’s been slow in returning bay shrimp and shrimp from the Gulf affected by the oil spill to his ice display counters in his market because of suspicions they were tainted by oil.
“I tested some shrimp in Pensacola Bay and they are fine. They satisfy Frank Patti,” he said about his discerning eye for fresh seafood. “I’m letting my boats go out and bring them in.”
Patti put a test batch of bay shrimp through his sight, smell and boiling test – boiling the heads of the shrimp to see if anything suspicious, like petroleum, boiled out of them.
“There was nothing that would give me any indication there’s oil in them or the shrimp have been in oil, and I feel good about it. Pensacola Bay shrimp are excellent to eat.”