Shellfish are generally safe to use during pregnancy, but there are things to be aware of. First, they must be fully cooked and, second, the shellfish should come from a safe source.
Hi Mommy, Welcome to PregnancyMommy. This time we will discuss about Can You Eat Shellfish While Pregnant?, hopefully the article we wrote can be useful for Mommy
With concerns about raw fish and mercury during pregnancy, it's no wonder that pregnant women often check that they can eat shellfish.
Shellfish are safe to eat during pregnancy as long as they are thoroughly cooked and sourced from responsible sources, but some types of shellfish should be limited.
I'll tell you about the different types of shellfish that are out there and what to watch out for so that you can safely consume them during pregnancy. You will also learn how to cook shellfish safely and why it matters where it comes from!
What are the risks of eating shellfish while pregnant?
The main concern with shellfish is foodborne diseases.
Shellfish can be contaminated with pathogens that cause poisoning. This is because shellfish are filter feeders, which means they eat algae and marine diatom, which can sometimes contain harmful chemicals or substances. Shellfish can also ingest toxins from sewage or rainwater drainage.
The shellfish then contain high levels of poison, which is then absorbed when eaten. This can happen to both saltwater and freshwater shellfish. Unfortunately, cooking shellfish does not completely eliminate the risk of shellfish poisoning, and cooking does not remove some pathogens.
It is best to only consume shellfish from trusted restaurants and vendors. Store-bought shellfish are usually safe. However, shellfish caught from unsupervised areas can be dangerous due to the risk of contamination.
For example, if you are catching your own shrimp, lobster, or crab, check to see if there are any marine warnings or advisories in your area. Never eat seafood unless you are sure where it came from or how it was stored.
Make sure the shellfish have been properly refrigerated and stored before cooking.
Poisoning aside, shellfish must be properly cooked to avoid illness from salmonella, pathogenic E. coli, and noroviruses
Shellfish, including oysters, clams, scallops, crabs, prawns, and lobsters, are safe to eat during pregnancy, but only if they have been thoroughly cooked. They should not be eaten raw because of the risk of food poisoning.
Caution should be exercised with crabs - this should be limited to no more than two servings per week. This is because the Food Standards Agency's Toxicity Committee found it contains toxins, including PCBs and dioxins, that can build up in the body. This is the same advice as for oily fish, which can also contain these toxins.
"Seafood, including prawns and scallops, is low in fat, but contains just as much protein as meat or chicken, making it a healthy option for stir-fry or curry," explains nutritionist Dr. Rana Conway, Author What To Eat When Pregnant.
"However, if you're at a buffet or salad bar, it is probably best to avoid them unless you are absolutely certain that they have been carefully prepared and stored."
“You can eat shellfish etc as long as they're cooked and let's face it - who would ever dream of eating raw shrimp! !“Just make sure they're cooked thoroughly and you'll be fine! I've eaten seafood my entire pregnancy except for mussels, which I still can't stand for some reason !! "