Hairy crabs in autumn are a delicious seasonal specialty that crab lovers cannot miss out. However, for the sake of our health, we should apply the simple and effective 5 Keys to Food Safety during purchase, storage, preparation and cooking while enjoying this delicacy.
First, choose. We should purchase hairy crabs from reliable and hygienic shops or restaurants only. As bacteria will grow in large amount in hairy crabs for their high nutrition once they are dead, do not purchase dead crabs. Only purchase live hairy crabs with intact, shiny shells and no stink.
Second, keep clean. We should pay extra care when handling hairy crabs. Before cooking, clean the shell, legs and claws thoroughly with a brush and water and remove the mud from the shell. Pay attention to removing dirt that is usually found on the hairs of claws. Before consumption, wash our hands thoroughly with soap and warm water and remove the internal organs of hairy crabs.
Third, separate raw and cooked food. For live hairy crabs that are not intended for immediate consumption, they should be put into a clean container and stored in a refrigerator. In order to maintain their quality and avoid cross-contamination, keep raw and cooked food separately with raw food such as hairy crabs on lower shelves and cooked food on upper shelves.
Fourth, cook thoroughly. In order to observe this most important principle, we should restrict the quantity for steaming each time and never make crabs overlap one another so that every part of a crab is thoroughly cooked. Do not believe the myths that condiments such as salt, vinegar, wine and wasabi can kill bacteria and parasites in crabs. Only thorough cooking can guarantee safe consumption of hairy crabs.
Lastly, safe temperature. We should pay attention to both cooking and storage temperatures as they are equally important. Also, fully cooked hairy crabs should be consumed as soon as possible and never kept under room temperature for more than two hours.
Apart from observing food safety practices, we should maintain a balanced diet and avoid overindulge in hairy crabs, especially cholesterol-rich roes. People with chronic diseases must consume hairy crabs in moderation.