Maryland Department of Health Investigating
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
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
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.
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.
Marylanders who need help
finding substance use disorder treatment resources should visit http://goo.gl/nIfGm0 or call Maryland Crisis Connect, which provides support 24 hours a day,
seven days a week, at 211, press 1. For information on many of the policies
currently implemented to fight addiction and overdose in Maryland, see http://goo.gl/KvEzQw. If you know of someone in need of treatment for a substance use disorder,
treatment facilities can be located by location and program characteristics on
our page at http://goo.gl/rbGF6S.
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State agency that protects Maryland’s public health. We work together to
promote and improve the health and safety of all Marylanders through disease
prevention, access to care, quality management, and community engagement. Stay
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201 W. Preston Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-2399
(410) 767-6500 or 1-877-463-3464