I’m a huge fan of eating shrimp. I love the way it tastes, and it’s delicately flavored means that you don’t need to do much to it to make it taste good. But did you know that eating raw shrimp can be dangerous?
Whether you’re a shrimp lover or a shrimp hater (I won’t judge), we can all agree that consuming raw shrimp is not the best idea.
In this article, I’ll discuss what happens when you eat raw shrimp. Let’s get started.
Is Eating Raw Shrimp Safe?
It’s a question we always get, and the answer is yes. You can eat raw shrimp stored and handled properly. Shrimp are one of the most popular seafood in America, and rightfully so: they’re delicious! Unlike other types of seafood that need to be cooked first, shrimp can be eaten as is—but only if it’s been taken out of the shell and is fresh.
There are some things to keep in mind when eating shrimp raw. First, it’s important to ensure your shrimp has been deveined—if it hasn’t, don’t eat it. Second, if you try eating raw shrimp, ensure they’re clean before eating them. You can get sick if they aren’t clean enough before you eat them.
What Happens if You Eat Raw Shrimp?
Here are some things you should know about eating raw shrimp:
You may be exposed to harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses.
Raw shrimp can contain harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause food poisoning. Eat raw shellfish or other types of seafood that have been contaminated. You could be at risk of various foodborne diseases.
Shrimp can have high levels of chemicals in them.
Shrimp is a good protein source but can also contain high levels of chemicals. The FDA requires that shrimp be consumed only if caught or grown in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, or Chile. Imported raw shrimp may contain banned chemicals and pesticides, risking a higher level of contamination. Plus, shrimp have high lipid content (fatty tissue), which makes them an easy target for bacteria and parasites that thrive on fat-rich food sources like raw shrimp from the ocean floor.
You could get food poisoning.
One of the most common ways to get food poisoning is from raw or undercooked seafood. Seafood like shrimps can carry bacteria that cause food poisoning, which is usually harmless to humans. Still, they can make you sick if you eat them raw or cooked improperly.
Food poisoning is also caused by parasites living inside the shellfish’s body—these parasites may be passed on through eating raw or undercooked crab. Parasites like this are called “crawlers,” and they can cause symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea in as little as 12 hours after consuming them.
Symptoms of Eating Raw Shrimp That Has Gone Bad
If you’re a shrimp lover, you know fresh shrimps taste incomparable to anything else. Unfortunately, there are some things that can ruin your shrimp experience. One of those things is eating raw shrimp, which has gone bad.
If you’ve ever opened up a pack of raw shrimp and found it less than appetizing, then you’ve experienced the effects of spoiled shrimp on your taste buds. When raw shrimp goes bad, it can cause different problems for your health. These include:
- Abdominal pain
- Muscle aches
Eating Shrimp If You Have Shellfish Allergies
Raw shrimp can cause an allergic reaction in some people. So avoid eating raw shrimp if you have an allergy to shellfish.
The most common reaction is hives, which appear as bumps on your skin and can be very painful. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.
If you do not know if you are allergic to shrimp and decide to eat it anyway, the reaction could be severe and life-threatening.
How Long After Eating Raw or Undercooked Shrimp Will You Be Sick?
The time it takes for symptoms of food poisoning to appear after eating raw, spoiled shrimp can vary. It can take anywhere from a few hours to several days for symptoms to appear.
The type and severity of symptoms will depend on the specific bacteria, parasite, or virus causing the food poisoning.
If you experience any common food-poisoning symptoms after eating raw or undercooked shrimp, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Some cases of food poisoning can be severe and may require medical treatment.
How Can You Prevent Shrimp Poisoning?
To prevent food poisoning, cooking shrimp to a safe minimum internal temperature is important to kill any harmful bacteria or parasites. Shrimp should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145°F for at least 20 seconds. Using a food thermometer is the right way to ensure that shrimp and other types of seafood are cooked to a safe temperature.
It is also important to handle raw shrimp safely to prevent the spread of bacteria. This includes washing your hands before and after handling raw shrimp and thoroughly cleaning any surfaces or utensils that have come into contact with raw shrimp.
How to Eat Raw Shrimp Without Getting Sick?
Buy fresh, cold-water shrimp.
The best method for finding out if your shrimp is fresh is to look at its color and appearance. If shrimps look dull or brownish in color and have black spots or slime, then this means that they’re old and possibly bad. Also, avoid eating shrimps with a fishy smell, as fresh shrimps have a neutral smell and flavor.
Clean the shrimp.
Thoroughly wash your hands and all surfaces and utensils that will come into contact with raw shrimp. Use hot, soapy water to wash your hands, and sanitize any surfaces that will come into contact with the raw shrimp.
Wash your hands and clean the shrimp under cold running water. Use a clean cutting board, knife, or bowl to prepare raw shrimp for eating.
Keep the shrimp chilled.
Store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to eat it, and keep it on ice if you are serving it raw. Remove the shell, veins, and head from the shrimp before eating it. The shell, veins, and head can contain bacteria and parasites that can cause illness.
Eat the shrimp immediately after preparing it.
If you are not going to eat the shrimp right away, store it in the refrigerator and consume it within a few hours.
Note: Don’t eat raw shrimp if you have a compromised immune system, are elderly, and/or have had surgery in the past month.
So, it’s clear that eating raw shrimp is not a good idea. But what about cooked shrimp? Well, studies have found that cooking reduces the risk of bacterial contamination and food poisoning. However, it doesn’t completely eliminate these risks, as some viruses still reside in uncooked fish or shellfish. The best way to avoid any potential problems with your health when eating shrimp is to buy them from a reputable source and always ensure they are thoroughly cooked before consumption.
We hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions or want to comment, feel free to do so. And if you liked this guide on eating raw shrimp, please share it with your friends.