Last Dungeness crab health advisory along California Coast lifted

Imported Dungeness crabs are displayed for sale at Fisherman's Wharf, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2015, in San Francisco. Wildlife authorities delayed the local Dungeness crab season and closed the rock crab fishery for most of California on Thursday, just days after warning of dangerous levels of a neurotoxin linked to a massive algae bloom off the coast. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The California Department of Public Health has lifted the last remaining health advisory for Dungeness crab along the California coast, officials announced on Thursday.

“The final advisory lifted today was for Dungeness crabs caught in ocean waters north of 40°46.15′ N Latitude (a line extending due west from the west end of the north jetty at the entrance of Humboldt Bay) and south of 41° 17.60′ N Latitude (a line extending due west from the mouth of Redwood Creek, Humboldt County),” the CDPH said in a press release.

Tests showed the traces of domoic acid in the crabs has gotten to low or undetectable levels.

“I know this announcement is one that people in California have been waiting for, whether it affects their livelihood or their ability to enjoy Dungeness crabs at the dinner table,” State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said. “We appreciate everyone who has paid attention to the warnings and remind everyone that conditions can change, so it’s important to stay informed.”

Officials still are advising people to not eat the viscera of the crabs, which are the internal organs, because it usually has higher levels of the domoic acid.

According to the CDPH, The best ways to reduce risk are:

1) Remove the crab viscera and rinse out the body cavity prior to cooking, or
2) Boil or steam whole crabs, instead of frying or broiling, and discard cooking liquids.

For additional information, visit CDPH’s Natural Marine Toxins: PSP and Domoic Acid Web page and CDPH’s Domoic Acid health information Web page.

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