- A man in China was hospitalized after he ate a live crab that pinched his daughter, per The South China Morning Post.
- Months after swallowing the crustacean, he was hospitalized with severe back pain and parasitic infections.
- While raw crab is served in some regions of China, local government officials have recommended against it.
A man in China became strangely ill months after he ate a live crab to avenge his daughter.
The man, identified as 39-year-old Lu of Zhejiang, was recently seen by doctors at a hospital in Hangzhou for severe back pain about two months after he swallowed the crustacean, according to the South China Morning Post.
“I asked him, ‘Why did you eat a live crab?’ He said, ‘I wanted to take revenge for my daughter,’” Dr. Cao Qian said, per the Morning Post. “He said, ‘When we were by a stream my daughter was pinched by a small crab, so I got angry and put it into my mouth for revenge.’”
Cao said Lu only admitted to eating the crab after his wife mentioned the incident to doctors, who were puzzled by “pathology changes in his chest, abdomen, liver and digestive system,” per the Morning Post.
“We repeatedly asked him if he had ever eaten game, or anything unusual, anything that could cause allergies. He said no to all,” Cao said, noting that Lu later admitted to doctors that he had eaten “something special.”
Blood tests later showed Lu had three parasitic infections from eating the live crab, according to the Morning Post, who noted that he has since recovered but will require follow-ups.
While crab is typically cooked in China, it is sometimes served raw but marinated in alcohol – earning the name “drunken crabs” – in Zhejiang, where Lu is from, and neighboring provinces, per the Morning Post.
“Theoretically it’s better to eat something marinated than completely raw because it has been treated with alcohol which can help kill parasites and bacteria,” Cao said, per the Morning Post. “But it can’t kill all parasites, so it’s not 100 percent safe either.”
The Center for Food Safety in Hong Kong recommends against eating any raw crabs, marinated or not, according to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.