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Glow-in-the-dark shrimp safe to eat

So, you decide that the best way to use those still-glowing coals is to throw on those fresh shrimp that just never made it to the grill. You peel, devein and sprinkle them with salt, and then head back outside to stir the coals. Your frugal spouse flips off the kitchen light. You re-enter the darkened kitchen to discover — the shrimp are glowing eerily in the dark.

No, it isn’t science fiction. According to Oregon State University’s Sea Grant Extension specialists, it’s perfectly natural — and perfectly safe.

In a press release issued Monday, OSU Sea Grant Extension Specialist Kaety Hildenbrand, who works with coastal fishing communities, said marine bacteria can cause glowing or luminescence when they grow on seafood products – a trait that may be exacerbated by the adding of salt during processing.

That should come as reassuring news to Oregonians who recently purchased pink shrimp at the coast or at large retail stores. They have called OSU’s Lincoln County Extension Office in Newport over the past week to report that their seafood was glowing in the dark.

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