University of Maryland Extension

July 6, 2018

State Urges Marylanders Not To Consume Fresh Crab Meat Imported From Venezuela

Maryland Department of Health Investigating Contamination

Baltimore, MD (July 6, 2018)—The Maryland Department of Health is warning consumers to avoid eating fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela because of potential risk of infection.

The Department is investigating a cluster of Vibrio infections in individuals who reported eating “fresh” (non-pasteurized) crab meat—from a plastic tub—with a label indicating that it is imported from Venezuela.  The imported crab meat is sold under different brand names.  Maryland crab product has not been associated with this cluster.

The implicated foods have been prepared in both household and restaurant settings, and include a variety of dishes, such as crab cakes, seafood salad containing crab, and crab benedict.
Symptoms of Vibrio parahaemolyticus infection include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting, fever, and chills. At least 9 cases who consumed imported crab meat have been confirmed in the state of Maryland. Two of the individuals were hospitalized and there have been no deaths.  

Vibrio infections can be caused by ingestion of Vibrio-containing water or shellfish and by direct skin exposure to Vibrio-containing salt or brackish water, including waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  However, none of the individuals have reported contact with water as a likely cause of illness. 

Individuals who have recently consumed imported crab meat from Venezuela and are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above should consult their primary care provider.

The Department continues to investigate this cluster and will provide updates as warranted. Consumers should refrain from eating these non-pasteurized imported products until further notice. Vendors or restaurants with questions should call the Office of Food Protection at 410-767-8400.

For More information on Vibriosis: https://www.cdc.gov/vibrio/  

 

Grilling Safely for the Summer 

July 3, 2018

USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-888-MPHotline

The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline can personally answer your food safety questions on weekdays year-round.

The Hotline receives more than 80,000 calls yearly. This toll-free telephone service, which began July 1, 1985, helps prevent foodborne illness by answering questions about the safe storage, handling, and preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products.

Food Safety Questions? Call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline

If you have a question about meat, poultry, or egg products, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline toll free at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854).

The Hotline is open year-round Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET (English or Spanish). Recorded food safety messages are available 24 hours a day. Check out the FSIS Web site at www.fsis.usda.gov.

Send email questions to MPHotline.fsis@usda.gov.

Ask Karen! (AskKaren.gov | PregunteleaKaren.gov ) 
FSIS’ automated response system can provide food safety information 24/7 and a live chat during Hotline hours. Mobile phone users can access m.askkaren.gov.

 What is foodborne illness?

  • Foodborne illness is “when a person becomes ill after ingesting contaminated foods or beverages” (Centers for Disease Control, CDC). 
  • Did you know that foodborne illness is largely preventable?
  • Healthy food safety behaviors should be practiced every day, from food shopping through reheating your leftovers.
  • It is important to learn how to keep yourself and your family safe from infectious disease.

**Our website is currently being updated.  As we slowly build our website, we will have trusted (peer reviewed) fact sheets and advice to reduce your family’s chances of experiencing a foodborne illness.  Thank you for your patience.**

                

Section: 
Food Safety
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