Brown Crab Black Liquid Discharge

by Meg
(Huntington Beach, CA)

We have caught many CA brown crabs before but never had this happen. The crabs were kept for 24 hours in the cooler covered in a towel soaked with sea water (as we have done before). As I rinsed them off in the sink prior to putting them in the boil one of them gave off a nasty black liquid out of it's mouth. I washed it off and he seemed ok. The all got cooked and they were put in the fridge for another 24 hours to be picked. While we were picking them many of them now hove this black liquid in the meat. We threw out all of the crabs but what is the black liquid and is it toxic to eat?


After an hour and half searching for an answer for you, to be honest, we found none! We have never experienced a "black liquid discharge" as you describe with your brown crab. With this said, Meg, we do have a couple suggestions for you.
One would be to get ahold of your local fish monger and ask them, or visit this website out of California...CA Deptartment of Fish and Game They may be able to offer an explanation about what the black liquid discharge is all about. Hopefully you'll get a quick reply and an accepting answer to this.
We feel you did the right thing and threw out the brown crabs, as you can never be too careful. there "could be" something going on down there in the water OR you "could be" throwing out good crab, either way, we appreciate you trusting us for an answer. We're sorry we don't have one! If you find the answer, please, visit us again and let us know what they said...if you don't mind!?

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Crab Legs and Black Spots?

by Destiny
(El Paso )

My crab leg had black dots on them and when i poked it. it was a dead worm. Will i get sick?

This is something I have never seen before. I HAVE seen black spots on Dungeness crab,King crab and even Snow crab legs before which, most likely, are what we refer to as "war wounds" or the result of naturally inter-acting will other crab. I have never had an incident where a worm, live or dead was involved. Personally I would not eat it. Will you get sick? I don't know. But when Enjoy!-ing crab of any kind.... no worm would be going into my mouth!

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discolored (brown) snow crab shell

Snow crab is usually bright orange. I have seen brown speckles or mostly brown shells and even sometime black spots (by the knuckle).

Why is it the specie, origin or harvesting that plays a roll in how the crab looks once it is cooked?

The meat is usually more strong or salty.

Not sure why there's discoloring on brown snow crab shells. Could be a number of possible factors and a mix of all the above...the specie, origin, and harvesting, as well as natural pigmentations in the shell that don't come out until they are cooked. With this said, all crab shells, whether, blue crab, dungeness, snow, or king, will have a different shade of color after boiling them.

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Does dungeness crab have black inside?

by Carol
(Mandeville, LA)

I brought a dungeness crab and it's gills and some of the meet has black on it.

Yes, dungeness crab may have black on the inside. Whether it is bought at the store or caught fresh it is NOT uncommon to find a whole myriad of colors or color combinations inside the crab. This should be of no real concern. I have found store bought crab often have more "colors" inside than fresh crab (probably due to freezing,shipping etc.)
Therefore, you can expect, from time to time to see not only black but brown, green, some browns, yellow and most definitely some white. If the meat on the inside of the knuckles is discolored you could pick it off and discard it because the true flavor of the dungeness crab meat may be adversely affected but..... color inside the crab is not necessarily a bad thing! ENJOY!

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Black in the crab legs and shell is this ok?

I got black in the crab legs and shell. Is this ok?

To be brutally honest here, it's really hard to tell without a picture of what you are referring to. This also brings some questions, like, where did you get this crab and what type of crab are you referring to? We don't have a lot of details to go by to give you an honest and clear answer. However.....
It has been our experience in the past that many breeds of crab (i.e. King crab, Dungeness crab, and even Snow crab) often have black spots on their legs and/or body (shells). We like to think of them as "war wounds" or the natural result of crab interacting with each other (often in a violent way). The good news is that we have never experienced any "ill effects" from this naturally occurring anomaly and have not found it to detrimental to the quality of the crab meat found inside.
If this appears to be the blackness you are concerned about then my best advice to you would have to be.....Enjoy!




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Black spots on snow crab legs

Black Spot on Snow Crab

What is responsible for the small black spots on these snow crab legs? Are these crab legs still safe to eat?

Yes, these snow crab legs are still safe to eat. The black spots have only effected the shells. We "believe" that these are "battle wounds." Crabs have battles as they have preditors and they do fight one another. The black spots are probably "bruises" from such and nothing to be leary of as you don't eat the shells.
Enjoy those Snow Crab legs! They look absolutely Crab-O-Licious to us!

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Black spots on snow crab legs

I was going to heat and eat my crab legs for dinner tonight but I noticed there are big black spots on a few of the legs. What are these and are the legs still ok to eat?

It has been our experience with not only Snow Crab but King crab and Dungeness crab too (which is what we catch here)that they all exhibit a certain amount of these "black spots" on their legs and bodies sometimes also. We believe that these are nothing more than "war wounds" and occur naturally as a result of crab interacting with each other. They should be perfect good for eating and most importantly....ENJOY!-ing

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