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Hairy crab samples tested satisfactory

Test results of 24 hairy crab samples collected recently for chemical and microbiological analyses were all found to be satisfactory, Principal Medical Officer (Risk Management) of the Centre for Food Safety (CFS), Dr Tina Mok, said today (October 5).

The microbiological tests cover parasites, while the chemical tests include heavy metals and drug residues.

"Despite the satisfactory results, local traders should import hairy crabs with health certificates. CFS has also liaised with Customs and Excise Department to strengthen control measures against the importation of hairy crabs from dubious sources," Dr Mok said.

She also reminded people to be careful when purchasing and eating hairy crabs.

"People should buy crabs from reputable shops or restaurants.

"Also, they should maintain a balanced diet and avoid eating too many hairy crabs, particularly the cholesterol-rich roe and sperm. Patients with chronic illnesses should eat hairy crabs in moderation," she said.

Crab-lovers are advised to heed the following safety advice:

Sale and purchase:

* Hairy crabs for sale must be kept in the refrigerator;

* Buy hairy crabs with intact, shiny shells without a foul smell.

Preparation:

* Prepare and consume hairy crabs soon after purchase. Dead crabs are highly perishable and, therefore, unfit for human consumption;

* Wrap the crabs properly and store them separately from other foods in the refrigerator to avoid cross-contamination;

* Clean the refrigerator thoroughly after storing hairy crabs;


* Brush and wash the crab shells and claws with water before cooking; and

* Cook thoroughly before eating as hairy crabs may contain parasites.

Consumption:

* Avoid eating raw crabs. Condiments such as salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi cannot kill bacteria or parasites that may be present;

* Remove the intestines completely before eating.

Ends/Thursday, October 5, 2006

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