If you want to know how to tell if the crab is terrible, you need to know some key characteristics. Crabmeat should be white and should have a mild bay smell. However, some crabs are flavored with spices, making the smell more challenging to detect. Hence, it is essential to know how to tell if crab meat is rotten before you decide to eat it. Crabs should be live, but if you happen to catch a crab that has recently died, you might be risking the quality of the meat. Keep the crabs cool.