Federal health agencies are warning people not to eat fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela because it’s likely the source of an outbreak that has sickened people in Pennsylvania and other states.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the meat has been linked to infections of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, an illness commonly associated with eating raw or undercooked shellfish.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus causes diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever and stomach pain. Twelve people have become infected with it after eating fresh crab meat in Maryland, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia since April 1.
Four people have been hospitalized.
The CDC and FDA say if you bought crab meat and do not know if it is from Venezuela, do not eat it or serve it.
Food contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus usually looks, smells, and tastes normal.
If dining out at a restaurant, ask where their crab meat is from.
The crab meat may be labeled as fresh or precooked. It’s commonly found in plastic containers.