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Nov 8, 2009 02:41 PM

dead crab - should we eat it?

So yesterday went to Korean market to buy 2 live crab. I got distracted when the guy was putting it in the bucket so I only saw him put in the 2nd crab, which was indeed alive.

But when I got home and took out the crab to steam them, the first crab was already dead. Like, limp, dead.

I decided to steam it anyway, but I only served the definitely fresh one to my family.

Now I've got this already dead steamed crab in my fridge - should we eat it or not? I mean, is it like clams where if its already dead, it should be discarded?

I seriously don't know! Thanks for any advice!

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  1. no, I wouldn't eat it. Always been told that if they were dead, to toss them. I am sure some people would cook & eat with no problems, but one bout of food poisoning was enough for me - I err on the side of caution.

    1. No, no, no, no, NO!

      I agree 100 percent with elfcook.

      1. It's safe to eat.
        At Asian markets there's always bin of dead crabs and/or lobsters at discounted prices and people are picking over them like vultures. I've even bought some on occasion. If I'm buying it from the bin I'll pick it up and smell it to make sure it isn't too old.

        1. When people buy pre-cooked crab at grocery stores or have to believe that some of those were dead before they were cooked.

          2 Replies
          1. re: monku

            monku, I don't mean to question your experience at all; you probably know more about it than I do. The one question I have, though, is did the fishmonger take the two crabs from the same container. If so, why would the live crabs and dead crabs be together? It would just make me wonder how long the dead one had been dead.

            I wouldn't chance it, but as I said, I understand you may know more about it.

            1. re: Normandie

              How do you know the other crab wasn't alive when he put it in the bucket and died in transit to your pot?
              Take the so-called dead crab and take a piece off, smell it, smells OK, take a small bite, I'm almost sure it isn't going to taste any different than the live one. Smell Test: Has an ammonia smell to it like any shellfish then it's been dead past it's prime.

              I've eaten my share of dead crabs and lobsters from those "dead" sales bins, if they weren't safe to eat do you think they could sell them? It's not the same as eating a dead clam or oyster which I wouldn't do...they don't open when I cook them I don't eat them. Wouldn't surprise me if your reputable grocery store didn't cook and sell those dead lobsters/crabs that you see nicely displayed on a bed of ice.

          2. The *only* real issue with eating dead crabs is texture. Meat from dead crabs (esp. those that have been dead more than a day) tend to be mushy, even watery.

            If you don't mind the downgrade in texture, you'll be fine eating it.