The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with federal, state, and local officials regarding a Vibrio parahaemolyticus outbreak linked to fresh crab meat from Venezuela. At this time, the FDA is advising consumers to avoid eating fresh crab meat from Venezuela, as it may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Consumers are advised to ask where their crab meat is from, if dining out at a restaurant or in grocery stores. This product is commonly found in plastic tubs and may be labeled as “pre-cooked.” As this is an ongoing investigation, the FDA will share additional updates as soon as information becomes available. The FDA and the states are conducting an investigation to determine the source of contaminated fresh crab meat and ensure it is removed from the food supply. Retailers should not serve or sell fresh crab meat imported from Venezuela.
As of July 12, 2018, there are 12 cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The states reporting cases associated with this outbreak include Maryland (8), Louisiana (2), Pennsylvania (1), and the District of Columbia (1). Four of these cases are confirmed matches to the outbreak strain by Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE), which is a type of DNA fingerprinting. All four of these confirmed cases are in Maryland. Four people (33%) have been hospitalized. Illnesses started on dates ranging from April 1, 2018 to July 3, 2018.
Food contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus may look, smell, and taste normal.