Fresh Cooked Crabmeat comes from live cooked crabs that are picked in Countries such as the US, Mexico, Colombia and Venezuela.
The crabmeat is picked, put into 16oz plastic tubs. In the U.S. it is produced in the Chesapeake Bay area, Virginia, The Carolinas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas.
Colombia, Venezuela and Mexico have the exact same process, but the crabmeat is flown into the U.S.
Because of he possible high bacteria counts in fresh crabmeat that come from the process of picking the crabmeat by hand, fresh crabmeat must be cooked or reheated to at least 120F before it is used or served at any restaurant.
If done correctly, fresh crabmeat is cooked twice just like pasteurized crabmeat, but it is entirely up to the restaurant to trust the supplier with the proper cold chain of custody wile in transit, and then the consumer to trust the restaurant or establishment to keep it iced down and then cook it correctly before it is served.
Blue and Blue swimming Pasteurized Crab Meat comes from live cooked crabs that are picked in plants where the logistics are difficult to be able to sell it fresh.
The crabmeat is put inside tin cans or plastics cups that are hermetically sealed and then put through a pasteurization process (heat followed by cold just like milk and orange juice). The entire process lasts an average of 4 hours. Two hours at 89C and then two hours in an ice bath. It is the rapid change in temperature that kills most bacteria since the product never boils.
The pasteurization process eliminates the bacteria from the picking process making it safe to eat even right out of the can.
Note: Pasteurization does not make a bad product good. The quality of what goes into the can is the same quality that comes out of the can.
Red Swimming Pasteurized Crab Meat comes mostly from fresh dead crabs. Because of the nature of the fishery in China. The boats catch the crabs and ice them down while they continue to catch for 3 days. They come back to the plants, cook the crabs, pick them and pasteurized them like the rest of the countries do.
Is Pasteurized Crabmeat from China safe?
From the food safety side, the pasteurization process makes the crabmeat safe to use as an ingredient and it is commonly used around the US to make crab meat recipes.
Because the crabs were iced down before they were cooked, the texture and the flavor of the crabmeat is very different from the rest of the countries that pasteurize crab meat from live crabs.
Because of its reduced cost, Pasteurized Crabmeat from China and Vietnam are widely used as a cheaper alternative to fresh cooked or pasteurized crabmeat from other countries.
Why do I have to keep Pasteurized Crabmeat Refrigerated?
The process of pasteurization is not the same heat process that other canned products go through like all the canned vegetables, tuna and some other crab species you can find at supermarkets. Pasteurization only eliminates the bacteria without changing most of the attributes such as color, flavor and texture. With a good pasteurization process, crabmeat can last up to 18 months under refrigeration and be safe to eat. Once you open the can it has the same 3 to 5-day shelf life fresh cooked crabmeat has.
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