Can You Eat Raw Shrimp? Yes! Buying And Cooking Tips

Eating raw shrimp as a delicacy is a common practice in many cultures. However, you might be reluctant to try it uncooked for the first time. Thus, taking health risks into account, you may wonder can you eat raw shrimp?

You can eat raw shrimp only if it is properly clean and frozen beforehand. Fresh raw shrimps contain harmful bacteria that can cause health-related risks. Frozen raw shrimps are better to consume rather than fresh raw shrimps. Before eating raw shrimp, wash it thoroughly in salted cold water to ensure extra safety.

The use of any seafood in raw form can have an impact on your health. But by following proper instructions, the harmful effects can be lowered by a significant amount.

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp Without Cooking?

There are plenty of famous cuisines around the world that contain raw shrimp as a central ingredient. So, in case you plan to eat raw shrimp, there are certain things you might take into notice.

Just like many other varieties of raw seafood, shrimp also contain harmful bacteria. They can lead to different food-borne illnesses. Specifically, people with a weaker immune system should avoid consuming raw shrimp.

Fresh shrimps have a greater chance of containing parasites as they are taken out directly from water bodies. So to avoid any health risks, a better and safer alternative is to have frozen raw shrimp.

Commercially frozen raw shrimps are kept at low temperatures and in a controlled environment. Thus, they are safer to consume and have a longer shelf life due to the added preservatives.

It is best to buy frozen raw shrimps from reputable sources as they will provide high quality. However, before buying, ensure to read the label properly to see if it fulfills all the safety guidelines.

How To Prepare And Eat Raw Shrimp?

Raw shrimps are perfectly safe to eat if your health is in a good state and you do not suffer from serious complications. However, before eating raw shrimp, you should consider few things to avoid any room for risk.

It is ideal to go for a well-known and trusted source for buying your raw shrimp. They will provide the best quality and is the safest option to choose. They have already undergone all the basic requirements and safety checks to be able to be consumed.

In case of fresh raw shrimps, eye them well before purchasing to make sure that they are fine. If there is any sign of a foul smell or change in color, then do not go for them.

Fresh raw shrimps need even more cautious handling as they are already at peak risk. Once you buy them, wash them properly to remove all the dirt and waste. Transfer them into an airtight container and place them in the freezer.

When you are ready to consume your raw shrimp, ensure to wash them with cold salted water again once you take them out from the freezer. It will allow removing the harmful microbes lurking inside to a much greater degree. However, you cannot completely get rid of them.

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp In Sushi?

Can You Eat Raw Shrimp In Sushi

Sushi is a popular Asian dish equally liked throughout the world. The conventional type of sushi gets prepared with raw fish. Besides, many other seafood varieties also make their way into sushi often. Similarly, raw shrimp paired with sushi is admired for the rich and unique flavors that it gives.

In reputable Asian restaurants, the raw shrimps in sushi are always lightly poached before adding them to the dish. So, in that case, they are perfectly safe to consume. The poaching helps in bringing out all the rich flavors of the shrimp. It also prevents the shrimp from losing its texture.

Fresh raw shrimp is home to many different bacteria and viruses. But, the harmful factors can be controlled if they undergo correct handling after being caught. The type of raw shrimp also determines how more or less the side effects can be.

Health Risks Of Eating Raw Shrimps

Asian countries like Japan and China frequently use raw seafood like shrimp in their dishes. According to the Academy Of Nutrition And Dietetics, eating raw shrimp is not that harmful if your immune system is healthier and you are a fit individual.

People with a lower level of immunity as children, older adults, and expecting mothers should avoid eating raw shrimp. Their bodies are in a weak state and thus can easily catch diseases.

Fresh raw shrimps usually available in open markets are not frozen or preserved according to the standards. They mostly contain viruses, bacteria, and parasites in a higher number. They can at once cause food poisoning and other diseases like diarrhea and excessive vomiting.

Shrimps contain a lot of healthy nutrients like vitamin b12, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids. It is okay to have a raw shrimp dish once in a while. But in routine life, it is healthier to consume them after cooking them properly and not uncooked.

How To Buy The Right Raw Shrimp?

There are many different varieties of raw shrimp available in the market. Each shrimp dish requires a specific type as an ingredient. So, it is beneficial to know which one will complement your meal.

If you plan to buy any variety of raw shrimp, there are certain things that you must check to ensure that you are consuming the right one.

  1. Firstly, thoroughly inspect the color of your raw shrimps. Fresh shrimps usually have a pinkish shade. If you notice any discoloration or brownish spots, avoid buying them.
  2. The second indicator for buying the right shrimp is its smell. A rotten or old shrimp will give a distinct ammonia-like odor.
  3. Go for a smaller pack of raw shrimps and not a jumbo one. Once you open the packaging, it can turn inedible quickly. Thus, to avoid food wastage, it is better to go for a lesser quantity.
  4. Thoroughly go through the label and double-check the expiration date or best before the by date.
  5. If the raw shrimps fulfill the above criteria, you can buy them without worrying much.


You can eat raw shrimp only under specific circumstances. Some techniques and precautions might help in reducing the harm that raw shrimps may cause. However, it still can have a risk factor.

Only those individuals that have a healthy body can overcome these risks. People who easily catch diseases should avoid eating raw shrimp. They can get serious infections that can be a threat to their overall health.

Frozen raw shrimps that get exposed to low temperatures possess fewer microbes. The cold temperature also makes the shrimp shelf-stable. They are a far better choice than fresh raw shrimps.

Shrimps contain many vital nutrients that are good for our bodies. The safest way to get all the benefits from shrimp is by cooking it before eating it. The cooking process reduces the harmful elements present inside.

Recommended Readings:

Can You Eat Seahorse


Tauseeq is the principal creator of He loves cooking and wants to help others overcome kitchen challenges through practical advice and solutions.

Recent Posts