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Food Safety Focus (197th Issue, December 2022)– Article 3

Risks of Marinated Raw Crabs

Photos of self-prepared marinated raw carbs were recently shared on-line, sparking heated debate about their safety.

Raw or undercooked aquatic products are high risk food because they may contain bacteria and viruses that cause diseases. Raw crabs are also known for carrying parasitic lung flukes, including Paragonimus westermani, which are common in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Human can get infected after consuming affected raw or undercooked crayfish or freshwater crabs, even if they are marinated or salted. The lung fluke larvae can penetrate the intestine after ingestion, migrating to the lungs and also other parts of the body. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain and coughing up blood. Some wild-caught aquatic products may also harbour parasites like liver flukes, roundworms and tapeworms.

Aquatic foods that are raw or undercooked are inherently more dangerous to consume than cooked foods. People, particularly susceptible populations, should consume thoroughly cooked foods.