Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Shrimp is a popular seafood used in many dishes, like pasta, salads, stir-fries, and more. While you probably know that shrimp is tasty, you should learn how to prepare it. Can you eat raw shrimp? Let’s see!

In this article, we will reveal what happens if you eat raw shrimp, what kind of shrimp can be eaten raw, and what to do if you eat raw shrimp by mistake. We will also discuss the safety concerns, parasites, fatty acids, and cooking tips related to raw shrimp.

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

You can eat raw shrimp only if it is certified for raw consumption. However, certain risks are related to consuming raw seafood, including shrimp. According to the FDA, certain groups of people who are prone to foodborne illnesses should avoid eating raw fish at all costs. The at-risk groups are the elderly, pregnant women, young people, and people with weakened immune systems.

Microorganisms in shrimp can only be removed when cooked. That is why, for safety reasons, it is recommended to avoid raw shrimp, particularly if you are part of the groups mentioned above. If you want to eat raw shrimp, opt for reputable and approved seafood, like this fresh seafood box.

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp
Source: / Photo Contributor: Gayvoronskaya_Yana

Shrimp in different cuisines

People worldwide eat shrimp and have different ways of preparing it. These recipes also include raw shrimp.

Japanese and chinese cuisine

Raw shrimp is consumed in sushi and sashimi. While raw seafood can be delicious, it is important to know the potential risks. Raw shrimp may contain bacteria and parasites that may cause food poisoning.

If you choose to consume raw shrimp, consider eating it in a well-prepared sushi or sashimi restaurant made by a professional chef, or buy the raw shrimp from a certified government-regulated business that appropriately freezes the shrimp to kill the parasites. Professional chefs are trained to ensure the seafood is handled safely and prepared properly. Moreover, we advise eating raw shrimp sourced from reputable suppliers.

In China, there is a special way of eating raw shrimp. Chinese eat live shrimp after being soaked in a strong alcohol called baijiu

American cuisine

Shrimp is versatile enough to enter any cuisine. While people in the U.S. prefer to eat cooked shrimp, there are some who enjoy raw shrimp.

There is something for everyone since shrimp can be prepared in many ways. Peeled shrimp and dipped in sauce is considered a delicacy. Common types of shrimp for this dish include Kuruma Ebi and AmaEbi, which are Japanese Tiger Prawn and Sweet Shrimp. Many other types of shrimp can be eaten raw.

What Happens if You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Although, as we already said, eating raw shrimp is not the safest choice, we cannot rule out the fact that shrimps are a good source of protein and vitamin B12. Raw shrimp is also a source of antioxidant selenium and omega fatty acids. Yet, raw shrimp may harbor bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which may lead to food poisoning. 

If you eat raw shrimp not purchased from a government-regulated business by mistake, we advise you to stay hydrated and avoid any kind of food until your stomach settles down. To reduce the risk of contamination, drink plenty of water to flush out any bacteria or parasites from your organism. Keep in mind that in case of contamination, you may experience diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain, and in that case you should seek medical help. You can take electrolytes to replace the lost fluids.

Moreover, avoid eating for a few hours or until you feel better. You should also avoid eating fatty foods. We recommend eating rice, bread, potatoes, toast, bananas, oatmeal, and plain crackers.

Shrimp Storing and Preparing Tips 

If you want to eat raw shrimp, you should buy quality shrimp from reputable sources. Remember that you can reduce the health risks of eating raw shrimp if you prepare it properly. 

We advise you to look for sashimi-grade shrimp at a local port or fresh market. Check if they are FDA-approved. According to the FDA, this is the way of killing parasites and bacteria that can be found in fresh shrimp:

  • The shrimp must be frozen and kept at -4℉ or lower for one week.
  • The shrimp must be frozen at -31℉ or lower until solid, then kept at -31℉ for about 15 hours.
  • The shrimp must be frozen at -31℉ or lower until solid, then kept at -4℉ or lower for about 24 hours.

Shrimp Storing and Preparing Tips

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So, can you eat raw shrimp? Although you can eat raw shrimp, it is not the safest choice. If you do choose to eat raw shrimp, purchase only from a government-related business that appropriately freezes the shrimp to kill the bacteria and parasites found.  Raw shrimp may contain viruses, bacteria, and parasites and cause food poisoning. Pregnant women, children, immunocompromised, and older people should avoid eating raw shrimp.

If you eat raw shrimp and experience diarrhea and vomiting, drink plenty of water and eat low-fiber food until your stomach settles down. In case of worse symptoms, ask for medical assistance.

If you enjoy shrimp, find your favorite cooked shrimp recipe to be on the safe side.