Crab Health Advisory Lifted for CA Coast

Sacramento Region, CA (MPG)  |  Source: California Department of Public Health
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The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has lifted the last remaining health advisory for Dungeness crab caught along the California coast. CDPH lifted this advisory on January 11th due to recent tests showing that traces of domoic acid have declined to low or undetectable levels in Dungeness crabs caught in the area, indicating they are safe to consume.

Dungeness crabs caught along the coast are safe to consume. However, as a precaution, consumers are advised not eat the viscera (internal organs, also known as “butter” or “guts”) of crabs. The viscera usually contain much higher levels of domoic acid than crab body meat. When whole crabs are cooked in liquid, domoic acid may leach from the viscera into the cooking liquid. Water or broth used to cook whole crabs should be discarded and not used to prepare dishes such as sauces, broths, soups or stews (for example, cioppino or gumbo), stocks, roux, dressings or dips.

Symptoms of domoic acid poisoning can occur within 30 minutes to 24 hours after eating toxic seafood. In mild cases, symptoms may include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, headache and dizziness. In severe cases, the victim may experience trouble breathing, confusion, disorientation, cardiovascular instability, seizures, excessive bronchial secretions, permanent loss of short-term memory, coma or death.

Domoic acid accumulation in seafood is a natural occurrence that is related to a “bloom” of a particular single-celled plant. CDPH will continue to monitor conditions to ensure that seafood sold in California is safe to consume.

For more information, visit www.cdph.ca.gov