FDA: Glow In The Dark Shrimp "Not A Food Safety Issue"

Seattle shoppers want to know why the FDA won’t investigate bioluminescent shrimp appearing at local Thriftways and Quality Food Centers.

The glowing shrimp have yet to sicken anyone, according to the FDA, and are just as safe as colored ketchup. One Thriftway manager said: “We don’t hear a lot of complaints about glowing seafood, but then people rarely look at their shrimp and crab in the dark.”

However, [the manager] admits that he might “take a peek” at the seafood now and then in a darkened freezer “just in case.”

A caller who identified herself only as Barbara told the Seattle P-I on Monday that she had given some cooked shrimp she bought at the QFC in Wallingford to her three “very large” cats Sunday night as a “birthday treat.”

An hour later, she said, she was frightened at what she found. She saw a greenish-blue glow coming from the cat bowl on the darkened porch. When she turned on the light, she found the six shrimp untouched. Her porky cats, which she said “would eat your leg off if you stood in one place long enough,” didn’t touch them.

She pulled open the refrigerator door. The light bulb had burned out weeks ago, she said, but the plastic bag holding the remaining shrimp glowed brightly in the chilled darkness.

Neither Peters nor Barbara, who also ate some of the shrimp, said they were made ill, just a bit queasy at the idea of consuming the glowing seafood.

Skittish consumers can boil the shrimp to kill off the bioluminescent bacteria phosphoreum that makes their shrimp awesome and creepy.

Glow-in-the-dark shrimp — it’s all a little fishy [Seattle PI via Slashfood]
(Photo: Edith Widder/Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution)