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How to Tell If Crab Meat Has Gone Bad

Anytime you are dealing with seafood or meat in general, you want to make sure you are eating a strong, healthy batch.

If the catch is fresh, chances are the meat will be good and safe to eat.

But what happens if you are dining out, and someone brings an order of crabs to your table. Will you be able to tell the good crab meat from the bad?

Good crab meat is very white in color and has a pleasant smell “bay” smell. If it’s cooked with Old Bay or other spices, it may be difficult to discern the real smell, but if you are trying to evaluate pre-cooked crab or recently cooked crab with no spices, you should be able to tell if the meat is bad.

If you caught the crab yourselves, did not store them properly by keeping them alive, chances are you could be dealing with bad meat. But if the crab only recently died or has not be exposed to warm temperature or air long enough, you might be in the clear. It also may not have a “bad”appearance to it yet.

If someone serves you crabs or you begin to clean crabs and you notice a dark or black discoloration where the meat should be, then chances are high that the meat has gone bad.

This is what bad crab meat may look like:

bad crab meat

Note the black discoloration

Whenever you see this, do not take a chance on eating it. Just discard it and sort through the rest of the crabs to see if the rest may also have been spoiled.

It’s possible that you only get one bad crab in a bushel, so don’t worry too much if you find one. If you notice a bad smell, that could also be a sign.

At the end of the day, just be smart, learn the warning signs, and when in doubt, just throw it away.