State Officials Warn Against Eating Crab Meat From Venezuela

Some who have consumed the crab meat have become ill.


Baltimore, Md (KM) Officials with the Maryland Department of Health are urging residents not to eat any crab meat imported for Venezuela because of the risk of infection. The agency says so far nine people have reported consuming the crab meat; two had to be hospitalized. But there have been no deaths.

The Department is investigating a cluster of Vibrio infections in individuals who reported eating the crab meat, which is labeled as “fresh” (non-pasteurized) and comes in a plastic tub with a label statingĀ  it’s from Venezuela. It has been prepared in homes and restaurants, and has been served as crab cakes, in seafood salads and as crab benedict. It’s sold under various brand names, agency officials say. The Department says Maryland crab meat has not been associated with this Vibrio cluster.

Symptoms of Vibrio parahaemolyticus include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills.

Vibrio infections can be caused by ingesting shellfish, or direct skin exposure to salty or brackish water, including the waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. But none of the individuals who became sick reported contact with water as a likely cause of their illness.

If you have eaten any of the imported crab meat from Venezuela and have experienced the symptoms listed above, you’re urged to contact your primary care provider.

By Kevin McManus