Chinese man falls seriously ill after revenge-eating live crab

A man in China became seriously ill after he ate a live crab in what he said was an act of revenge for pinching his daughter, according to a report.

Lu, the 39-year-old man in the eastern coastal province of China, swallowed the whole small-size crab and was admitted to a hospital two months later with back pain, doctors said according to South China Morning Post report.

Mr Lu’s medical reports showed pathology changes in his chest, abdomen, liver and digestive system but were unable to identify the exact cause.

“We repeatedly asked him if he had ever eaten game, or anything unusual, anything that could cause allergies. He said no to all,” said Dr Cao Qian, the director of the digestive system department at Sir Run Run Shaw Hospital in Hangzhou.

It was only after Mr Lu’s wife mentioned that he had eaten “something special” the man confessed he had taken revenge on the crab by eating it live.

“I asked him, ‘Why did you eat a live crab?’ He said, ‘I wanted to take revenge for my daughter’,” Dr Cao said.

Dr Cao said the man’s daughter was pinched by a small crab when they were crossing a stream of water and he got angry.

More blood tests showed Mr Lu had at least three parasitic infections, which are easy to catch after eating uncooked meat.

The man has since recovered but his doctors warned people against eating live crabs.

It is common to eat crabs in China. Crab delicacies are normally eaten cooked while serving raw or marinated crabs is not rare in eastern China, including Shanghai, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces.

The dish “drunken crabs” originates from eastern China where crabs marinated with liquor and seasoned with spices are served.

Dr Cao said it is still better to eat it marinated as alcohol can kill certain parasites but it is not 100 per cent safe.

In another incident in 2020, a woman in Hangzhou caught at least six parasites after she at 30 raw crabs. The woman suffered from accumulated water in her lungs, causing respiratory distress six months after she ate three dozen crabs.