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Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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Can you eat raw shrimp? Eating raw shrimp is remarkably common in some countries. It is common in China and the liquid inside the head is considered a delicacy. But there is a risk in eating raw shrimp as it contains bacteria, viruses and parasites which can lead to food poisoning. The bacteria and viruses in the raw undercooked shrimp can only be killed through hot temperature heating.

Shrimp is healthy when cooked well as it has a reliable source of nutrients such as omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin B-12 and iodine. But one in 6 Americans experience food poisoning and food contamination. There was a study in 299 raw shrimp samples that found 55% containing harmful vibrio species and it is a condition responsible for gastritis, cholera, and infections.

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp? Photo credit: iStock-lldar Imashev

Another study found in farmed shrimp found 100 strains of vibrio. There was also a review of 10 seafood processing plants in Nigeria. 100% of shrimp contained Bacillus bacteria which is associated with diarrhea and vomiting.

Symptoms of Food Poisoning from Eating Raw Shrimp

  • Vomiting
  • Stomach Cramps
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea

Over 90% of all food poisoning cases are causes by salmonella, e coli, vibrio, etc. And all of this can be found in raw shrimp.

The demographics of people that should avoid eating raw shrimp at all costs because of their immune compromised condition are:

  • Older Adults,
  • Pregnant Women
  • Young Children

Because of their compromised immune system if they were to get food poisoning or food contamination it could lead to serious illness or death. So pregnant women, young children and older adults should avoid eating uncooked shrimp as best as possible. The risks far outweigh the rewards in going that route.

Cooking Shrimp Safely

  • When purchasing shrimp make sure it is high quality and comes from a reputable source. Make sure that the label states that it was processed safely within their respective food safety guidelines.
  • One of the best ways to thaw out frozen shrimp is to take it out of the packaging. And then store it in a refrigerator overnight for 24 hours. This helps to minimize the spread of any type of bacteria.
  • Before you prepare your shrimp, you want to make sure you wash the shrimp thoroughly. So, you can wash out the bacteria, germs, etc. And make sure when you are washing it there is not any food items near where there could be some form of cross contamination.
  • When you start to cook the shrimp, you should cook it at a heat of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the shrimp has an opaque color then that should give you an indication that is cooked well. Most of the bad bacteria and viruses are eliminated during the cooking process.
  • Once your shrimp is fully cooked the potential food poisoning effect is minimally limited.

“Over 90% of all food poisoning cases are causes by salmonella, e coli, vibrio, etc. And all of this can be found in raw shrimp.” Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert Obi Obadike

Data has shown that over 5000 people die annually of food borne diseases in the United States every year. And over 1 billion diarrhea related food poisonings happen worldwide every year. So, food poisoning is a common issue in the U.S and globally.

If you don’t cook your food well enough to kill bacteria and viruses it can cause food poisoning illnesses to you. And if you don’t have a strong immune system to fight this it can potentially kill you.

The Bottom Line there is an elevated risk of eating raw shrimp. And the risk far outweighs how delicious it might be to you eating it raw. You are at substantial risk for food poisoning if you eat raw shrimp, it is that simple.

If you have any interest in trying any of our Ethical Supplement products to help you heighten your immune system or assist you with your fitness or health goals. You can go to https://www.ethicalinc.com/probiotic/

References

  1. Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Evaluation of the Safety of Fishery Products; Ahmed FE, editor. Seafood Safety. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1991. 3, Microbiological and Parasitic Exposure and Health Effects. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235727/
  2. Taylor, C. M., Emmett, P. M., Emond, A. M., & Golding, J. (2018). A review of guidance on fish consumption in pregnancy: is it fit for purpose? Public health nutrition21(11), 2149–2159. https://doi.org/10.1017/S1368980018000599
  3. Fung, F., Wang, H. S., & Menon, S. (2018). Food safety in the 21st century. Biomedical journal41(2), 88–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bj.2018.03.003
  4. Kriem MR, Banni B, El Bouchtaoui H, Hamama A, El Marrakchi A, Chaouqy N, Robert-Pillot A, Quilici ML. Prevalence of Vibrio spp. in raw shrimps (Parapenaeus longirostris) and performance of a chromogenic medium for the isolation of Vibrio strains. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2015 Sep;61(3):224-30. doi: 10.1111/lam.12455. Epub 2015 Jul 8. PMID: 26081523.
  5. Kokashvili, T., Whitehouse, C. A., Tskhvediani, A., Grim, C. J., Elbakidze, T., Mitaishvili, N., Janelidze, N., Jaiani, E., Haley, B. J., Lashkhi, N., Huq, A., Colwell, R. R., & Tediashvili, M. (2015). Occurrence and Diversity of Clinically Important Vibrio Species in the Aquatic Environment of Georgia. Frontiers in public health3, 232. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00232
  6. Kriem MR, Banni B, El Bouchtaoui H, Hamama A, El Marrakchi A, Chaouqy N, Robert-Pillot A, Quilici ML. Prevalence of Vibrio spp. in raw shrimps (Parapenaeus longirostris) and performance of a chromogenic medium for the isolation of Vibrio strains. Lett Appl Microbiol. 2015 Sep;61(3):224-30. doi: 10.1111/lam.12455. Epub 2015 Jul 8. PMID: 26081523.
  7. Kokashvili, T., Whitehouse, C. A., Tskhvediani, A., Grim, C. J., Elbakidze, T., Mitaishvili, N., Janelidze, N., Jaiani, E., Haley, B. J., Lashkhi, N., Huq, A., Colwell, R. R., & Tediashvili, M. (2015). Occurrence and Diversity of Clinically Important Vibrio Species in the Aquatic Environment of Georgia. Frontiers in public health3, 232. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2015.00232
  8. Karunasagar, I., & Ababouch, L. (2012). Shrimp viral diseases, import risk assessment and international trade. Indian journal of virology: an official organ of Indian Virological Society23(2), 141–148. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13337-012-0081-4
  9. Ghenem, L., Elhadi, N., Alzahrani, F., & Nishibuchi, M. (2017). Vibrio Parahaemolyticus: A Review on Distribution, Pathogenesis, Virulence Determinants and Epidemiology. Saudi journal of medicine & medical sciences5(2), 93–103. https://doi.org/10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_30_17
  10. Quinlan J. J. (2013). Foodborne illness incidence rates and food safety risks for populations of low socioeconomic status and minority race/ethnicity: a review of the literature. International journal of environmental research and public health10(8), 3634–3652. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph10083634
  11. Hosomi, R., Yoshida, M., & Fukunaga, K. (2012). Seafood consumption and components for health. Global journal of health science4(3), 72–86. https://doi.org/10.5539/gjhs.v4n3p72

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