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Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

There are many ways to cook food. Some ways include cooking it on the stove, grill, over firewood, a slow cooker, etc.

However, there are times you don’t always cook food, and you can just eat it after some quick preparation.

This is something that can apply to some meat and vegetables. One food some people may be tempted to eat raw is shrimp.

In this article, we’ll break down if you can eat raw shrimp, what are the risks, and who should just avoid it entirely.

Is It Possible To Eat Raw Shrimp?

In the United States, it isn’t always common for people to eat raw shrimp, so based on this, people might incorrectly assume that you simply can’t do it. This couldn’t be more wrong because you can indeed eat raw shrimp.

Sure, it isn’t always on the safe side, but it can be done.

One country where raw shrimp is often eaten in Japan.

It can be eaten in the form of sushi, nigiri, and sashimi. Japan’s closest neighbor China has drunk shrimp, which can be eaten raw. Finally, there is also a popular food called shrimp ceviche.

This delicious food originated in Peru and is made from raw shrimp, lemon/lime juice, onion, and herbs, to name a few ingredients.

Eating anything raw comes with risks, and shrimp is no different. However, some things can be done to make sure your raw shrimp are kept safe, which we are going to touch on in the next section, so pay attention!

The last thing you want to do is get sick or something for lack of reading.

How To Make Sure Your Raw Shrimp Is Safe

By deciding to consume raw shrimp, you are taking a bit of a risk to your health.

Don’t worry because there are things you can do to ensure that the raw shrimp you are eating is in the right condition to eat.

  • Raw shrimp must be handled correctly. It needs to be frozen at  -4 degrees Fahrenheit if you are keeping it for seven days. For 15 hours, it must be at -31 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Also, pay attention to where you are buying the shrimp from because if they aren’t keeping it in the right conditions, then the shrimp isn’t safe to eat raw.
  • Take care when transporting the shrimp from the store back to your home or wherever you are buying it. It needs to stay at a certain temperature if it is to stay fresh.
  • When preparing the shrimp, make sure there is no cross-contamination and keep the defrosting temps between 32 degrees and 39 degrees.

The biggest thing with raw shrimp is the temperature. You need to take the most absolute care to keep it between a certain temperature otherwise, it is not going to be possible to eat it.

If it doesn’t stay between those temperatures, then you have to consider the health risks.

What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Shrimp?

Like with most raw food, there are risks if you eat it. Shrimp is no exception to this rule and can cause many types of illness in humans because of bacteria in the shrimp.

The list below is by no means all the illnesses eating raw shrimp puts you at risk of, but they are the most common.

  • Vibriosis is one disease that is possible to get. A mild case will go away in about three days, but about 20 percent of people who do get this disease, unfortunately, do pass away.
  • Cholera is an infection that causes diarrhea. It appears in the intestines and is mostly nonfatal. Just unpleasant.
  • Parasites can cause all kinds of symptoms depending on what parasite it is your contract through eating raw shrimp.

Again, if you follow the ways to keep your raw shrimp safe, then you lower your chances of contracting any of these illnesses.

However, there are some groups of people that should not eat raw shrimp under any circumstances. For them, it’s just best to avoid it entirely.

Who Should Avoid Raw Shrimp?

People can’t always eat everything they want. One reason for this is allergies or just general risk factors.

Raw shrimp some people can’t eat it because it could put their health at risk. This doesn’t include those with a seafood allergy because that is a given.

The following groups should avoid raw shrimp. They are listed below:

  • Pregnant women should not be eaten raw shrimp. We know that when pregnant, a woman or pregnant person’s health is put at risk, so to keep the baby and themselves safe, it’s best to just not eat it.
  • Children are still growing, and the same goes for their immune systems. For them, raw shrimp is best left alone.
  • The Elderly have extremely weak immune systems and, given all the other health issues they can have; they probably don’t want to add to it.
  • Finally, the last group is those that have weakened or compromised immune systems.

This isn’t to say that you can’t eat raw shrimp if you fall into one of these four groups.

You just need to keep in mind that your risk is greater, so to make sure you don’t put your health at risk, this is why it’s suggested to avoid it.

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, all your shrimp lovers out there. You can eat raw shrimp. Yes, it comes with a decent number of risks, but all raw food comes with that.

There are ways to prevent this, which mostly fall under the realm of temperature control.

However, if you fall under one of the at-risk groups, your risk of illness is increased, even if you do use temperature control methods.

So go order yourself some shrimp. If you don’t feel like eating it raw, there are plenty of other ways you can eat it as well. I mean, it’s shrimp!

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