Grouper agreement reached in Fla.

John O'Brien Sep. 3, 2008, 2:13pm


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Legal Newsline) - If Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum orders grouper, he wants grouper.

Wednesday, McCollum announced a settlement with Sysco Food Services, a food distributor he says was providing restaurants with a lesser quality fish but telling them it was grouper. His investigation collected samples from more than 20 restaurants, 17 of which were identified as something other than grouper.

"Grouper is an important part of Florida's market and everyone gains from ensuring that our restaurants are receiving and serving the real thing," McCollum said.

The investigation was conducted in the Tampa area. McCollum has resolved any allegations against the restaurants.

Sysco supplied "grouper" to 14 of the 17 restaurants. The company must not falsely identify its fish and take certain steps to make sure it has the fish it is promising.

It also will donate $100,000 worth of food items to soup kitchens and other charities, while paying the State $200,000 for investigative fees and court costs.

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