Crab meat imported from Venezuela linked to multi-state outbreak

Crab meat from Venezuela may be contaminated, FDA says

Four people have been hospitalized in the outbreak, the CDC said.

According to a recent United States (US) Food and Drug Agency (FDA) advisory, "people infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus develop a diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever and stomach pain".

There have been 12 reported cases of people in the U.S. becoming sick after eating fresh crab meat from Venezuela, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

A representative for another crab wholesaler told Undercurrent News Monday morning that his company was not importing Venezuelan or fresh crabmeat but warned against packers who might be freezing the product for future sales.

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Illnesses began between April 1 and July 3, with eight cases in Maryland, two in Louisiana and one each in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.

"Consumers should check the label on the crab meat that was purchased at the retail level or verify in restaurants to ensure that it is not imported from Venezuela", the FDA writes in its official warning. It is commonly found in plastic containers.

The FDA said that the meat may look, smell, and taste normal, but is still possibly unsafe to consume.

While there have not been any import permits having been issued for processed crab meat from Venezuela, live crabs are imported with permits issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Infections can be caused by the ingestion of Vibrio-containing water or shellfish and by direct skin exposure to Vibrio-containing salt or brackish water.

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