Health officals urge caution after 2 people die from eating horseshoe crab

Health officials in the southeastern province of Trat issued warnings to the public after two people died from consuming mangrove horseshoe crabs. Five others have been hospitalized after eating the lethally poisonous crustaceans.

Horseshoe crabs are a staple food in the region, but the mangrove variety, also known as the round-tail horseshoe crab, is highly toxic and has been blamed for the recent fatalities. Misidentification of the poisonous crabs with the non-toxic Indo-Pacific horseshoe crab, which has a tail covered by a sturdy carapace, has been known to occur.

To avoid further cases of poisoning, Trat health officials published infographics to help the public distinguish between the two species, Coconuts reported. They advise residents to take special care to detect and differentiate the tails of the crabs before consuming them.

Standardized restaurants have also been recommended as a safer option for consuming horseshoe crabs. In addition, health officials urge people to seek medical attention immediately if they experience any symptoms after consuming horseshoe crabs, including vomiting, difficulty walking, or loss of consciousness.

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This recent incident is not the first of its kind in Thailand. In 2020, a woman in Phuket died after catching and cooking horseshoe crabs at home. The tragedy highlights the importance of proper identification and caution when consuming unfamiliar foods.

Seafood is a staple in Thailand, and while it is generally safe to consume, there have been incidents of fatalities resulting from the consumption of toxic seafood.

In 2019, a 35 year old man in Trang province died after eating pufferfish, a delicacy in Thailand that contains a lethal toxin if not properly prepared. The man had caught the fish himself and prepared it at home.

In 2018, two people died and dozens were hospitalized after consuming toxic shellfish in Phang Nga province. The shellfish had been contaminated by toxic algae blooms, which release toxins that can cause serious illness and death if consumed.

These incidents highlight the importance of proper food safety and caution when consuming unfamiliar foods. It is essential to properly prepare seafood and to only consume it from reputable sources to avoid the risk of contamination or poisoning. If any symptoms occur after consuming seafood, seek medical attention immediately.

Health officals urge caution after 2 people die from eating horseshoe crab | News by Thaiger
A grilled horseshoe crab. All photos courtesy of Bangkok Post.

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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