Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?

Shrimp is one of the most popular types of seafood globally, and in the United States alone, more than one billion pounds is eaten every year. However, despite that, it is not often eaten raw, if at all, in the US. But that does not mean it cannot be eaten raw, especially if you buy the right shrimp and take the right steps.

Like many ingredients that people eat raw, there is a high requirement for the shrimp. It must be carefully selected, stored, and prepared. It must also receive precise handling to avoid any issues. But as long as certain precautions are taken, it is a great way to experience pure shrimp flavor and a delectable texture.

Common Types of Raw Shrimp

Eating raw shrimp is not a common thing in the US, but there are plenty of places where people eat raw shrimp. In fact, it is even seen with some types of sushi or as sashimi, although not as common as many other raw ingredients, such as salmon or tuna. In fact, even the common shrimp sashimi or sushi is usually cooked.

That being said, raw shrimp is a delicacy, even peeled and dipped in sauce without any additional preparation. Some common shrimp for this type of thing include Ama Ebi and Kuruma Ebi, which are Sweet Shrimp and the Japanese Tiger Prawn. And those are only a few of the many types of shrimp that are eaten raw.

However, the most important thing when eating raw shrimp is not the type. Instead, freshness, preparation, and handling are all far more important in the process. In the following sections, you will learn about what makes raw shrimp dangerous to eat and what makes it safe to eat.

What Can Be Harmful

Although raw shrimp is eaten and delicious, that does not mean that it does not carry some risk. Really, eating any raw ingredient carries risk, but shrimp does have its own set of considerations. For instance, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, which could lead to things like food poisoning.

While it might sound scary, the risks are not high, especially when the proper steps are taken. That being said, there are still some things to take note of, which are primarily the bacteria and parasites present in shrimp.

Bacteria and Parasites Present Inside Raw Shrimp

Vibrio is a type of bacteria present in shrimp, and while there are many species, 12 of them are known to cause illness in humans. It grows quickly and is present in certain areas where shrimp are harvested. There is also Bacillus bacterium, which also causes unpleasant symptoms.

Additionally, parasites can be found in raw shrimp. Of course, the easiest way to get rid of the bacteria and parasites present in shrimp is to cook them at a high temperature. However, raw shrimp does not have that option, meaning the trust between the buyer and seller becomes very important.

Make sure you know what you are buying and ask whether it is safe to be eaten raw. Additionally, there are other ways to combat the dangers, but it all includes how the product is handled.

The Right Conditions for Raw Shrimp

Raw shrimp is only safe if it is handled correctly, which can be more involved than one might think. For starters, it requires careful monitoring of temperatures during the different phases. Of course, the first step is to find a trustworthy and hygienic supplier. You might even want to ask them about the storage conditions.

When it comes to raw shrimp, the requirements for the freezing process are strict, so you should not buy it from just any grocery store or fish market. You want to make sure it has received the appropriate freezing arrangement.

The first way shrimp can be frozen and remain safe is freezing and storage at -4°F or below for 7 days. It can also be frozen at -31°F or below until solid and stored at -31°F or below for 15 hours. Lastly, it can be frozen at -31°F or below until solid and stored at -4°F or below for 24 hours.

Those are non-negotiable conditions for raw shrimp because the freezing procedure helps kill parasites. It is even recommended by the FDA and other major food and health organizations.

Transportation Requirements

If you decide to move shrimp, there are a few concerns. The first is making sure it remains cold. Keep it below 0°F if it is being frozen or around freezing temperature if it is being chilled. Also, ensure that it is in a clean environment since shrimp is vulnerable to environmental contaminants. Cross-contamination can be a problem.

Prepare Carefully

The same rules apply for preparation as they do for transportation. You must ensure there is no cross-contamination, including utensils and plates. Additionally, keep the same defrosting requirements in mind, hovering between 32°F and 39°F during the process. Lastly, take as much care with your personal hygiene as with the environment.

Procuring Shrimp to Eat Raw

As the above might have suggested, finding shrimp that is high-quality and handled well enough to be eaten raw is not an easy task. That is especially so in the US, where eating the product raw is not a common practice. That does not mean it is impossible, but it does deserve care and consideration.

One option is to find sashimi-grade shrimp, which is meant to be eaten raw. However, sashimi-grade is not always a safe option since there is legal power or requirement to use the i-grade label. That being said, companies bet their reputation on these things, so it is a better option than grabbing some frozen shrimp at a market counter.

However, there are other ways to cut down on the risk outside of the traditional routes. One is to pick shrimp that does not contain the harmful parasites and bacteria you have to worry about. After that, transport and handling are the only things that matter. And that is exactly where Sun Shrimp comes in.

Why Sun Shrimp Is Different

Sun Shrimp does not do things like other shrimp companies. Most shrimp is imported, meaning it travels for long distances, and you do not know exactly where it came from. A lot of it even comes from the wild, so it can have parasites or bacteria that could cause problems if it is eaten raw.

On the other hand, Sun Shrimp is 100% traceable, and it is carefully raised without chemicals and preservatives. To accomplish such a feat, Sun Shrimp pays close attention to its shrimp, meaning there will be no surprises when it comes to their health.

Additionally, Sun Shrimp is sent out within hours of being harvested in vacuum skin packages. The packages protect the shrimp during transport, ensuring there is no cross-contamination. From there, all you have to do is be careful on your end, and you can rest assured that you will get high-quality, fresh shrimp.

Moreover, if there is one way that Sun Shrimp truly stands out, it is the taste of the shrimp. All of the hard work that goes into raising the shrimp comes through in a crisp, clean, and sweet protein. So if you want to taste shrimp in its purest form, there is no better way than to do so with Sun Shrimp.

Be Cautious If You Are High Risk

One last thing to take into consideration is that you should not be eating raw shrimp if you are at high risk. All raw seafood contains certain risks, which are minimal for most but potentially dangerous for others. People that should be careful include older adults, young children, pregnant women, and those with compromised immune systems.

If you are at risk, know that the minimal risks involved carry a heavier risk, even carrying the potential to be deadly. If you are not sure if you are at risk, ask a doctor.

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