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Sunday 19 August 2018
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Agriculture Minister warns: ‘Do not consume fresh crab meat from Venezuela’

Minister of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries, Clarence Rambharat. Photo: Angelo Marcelle

Members of the public who purchase fresh crab meat from Venezuela are being advised to desist from doing so in wake of confirmed reports that the meat may contain a bacteria known as “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 a diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, nausea, fever and stomach pain. Diarrhoea tends to be watery and occasionally bloody.”

Yesterday Minister of Agriculture Clarence 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 12 reported cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the US.

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