Warning to avoid fresh crab meat from Venezuela

Senator the Honourable Clarence Rambharat, Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, is cautioning citizens “to avoid eating fresh crab meat from Venezuela as the US Food and Drug Agency says it may be contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus” - a bacterium in the same family as those that cause cholera.

According to a recent United States (US) Food and Drug Agency (FDA) advisory, “people infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus develop diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever and stomach pain. Diarrhoea tends to be watery and occasionally bloody.”

In taking note of the advisory, Minister Rambharat further advised that while people may think the issue is a Fisheries Division issue, the importation of seafood from Venezuela requires a licence from the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Health was responsible for public health issues such as these.

He said: “Given the involvement of the other Ministries, I am working along with my colleagues - under whose remit this issue falls - to identify clearly, the steps to be taken by Trinidad and Tobago, in light of this revelation.”

As of July 12, 2018, there were twelve (12) reported cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the US.

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