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Science | Health

Glowing Seafood In Oregon Not Cause For Concern

Cases of glowing seafood have been cropping up all over Oregon. But experts say there’s no need to worry about health hazards related to the luminescence.

OSU Extension fisheries expert Kaety Hildenbrand says people began calling the Lincoln County Sea Grant office with stories about glowing pink shrimp.

Kaety Hildenbrand: “One person had made herself a shrimp salad and sat down to watch a movie and turned out her lights, and the salad started to glow. Another person was thawing some shrimp overnight in their sink, which is not a great way to thaw shrimp, but that’s how he found it.”

Hildenbrand says bio-luminescent seafood could be the result of one of several different non-toxic bacteria.

Kaety Hildenbrand: “So it’s not from waste or pollution or anything like that. It is from a marine bacteria. There’s varying reports about whether it’s super-common or not. I think the biggest issue is how often do you eat seafood in the dark.”

The glow also can occur in other seafood, such as salmon. But Hildenbrand says that there have been no reports of illness from the luminescence.