Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Can I Eat Shrimp Cocktail While Pregnant? Is it Safe or Not?

Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life, characterized by many changes in the body. Nonetheless, this moment is also marked as a period with exceptional uncertainties, especially for first-time moms.

It is normal to think about what to eat, what to avoid, and many other questions that are based on the premise of protecting the developing baby. 

When it comes to food, seafood is one of the most questionable categories for pregnant women.

Although seafood is high in protein as well as vitamins and minerals and low in fat content, there are some known risks, ranging from food poisoning to mercury intake that surrounds seafood consumption.  

However, is shrimp cocktail safe for pregnant women, have you ever wondered “Can I eat shrimp cocktail while pregnant?

These are all normal questions for pregnant women, so keep on reading to discover the answer to this important question and to understand if it is safe or not to eat shrimp cocktail while pregnant

Can I Eat Shrimp Cocktail While Pregnant Or Not?

Shrimp cocktail is a common appetizer worldwide, this dish consists basically of shrimps in a cold or room temperature sauce served in a glass, hence it is called a cocktail. If you pregnant and wondering if you can eat a shrimp cocktail the good news is that you can.

Shrimp cocktail is made with cooked shrimps, therefore pregnant women can safely consume it.

Needless to say, that eating any type of cooked shrimp during pregnancy is ok, just notice that the recommendation of shrimp consumption during pregnancy is limited between 2 to 3 servings of 115 grams or 4 ounces each per week.  

Up until now you already know that shrimp cocktail is cooked so you can eat it with no major problems.

However, it is worth noting that in order to safely consume shrimp during pregnancy there are a few safety precautions that you need to follow.

For instance, you must certify – using a cooking thermometer – that the crustaceous reached a temperature of 75°C or 165°F in its interior and only consume it while hot. In other words, if you are pregnant only consume cooked seafood. 

In addition, you should be careful while handling raw seafood to avoid cross-contamination, bacteria can be transferred from one food to another if you use the same kitchen utensil.

Moreover, even a portion of food that is completely cooked can become contaminated if it touches other raw food or the same surface where the raw food was placed. For this reason, it is recommended to wash your hands, kitchen appliances, and surface thoroughly right after using them. 

It is extremely necessary to follow these measures in order to avoid getting infected with bacteria that might be present in the crustacean.

Foodborne illness is especially dangerous in pregnant women, as their immune system is weaker during the pregnancy period. 

Cocktail Sauce During Pregnancy

Ok, by now you already know how to safely consume shrimp when pregnant and that if you follow those simple steps above, chances of getting any foodborne illness is low.

However, what about the cocktail sauce, can pregnant women eat it? The short answer is yes. Nonetheless, you should take note of some tips in order to mitigate risk.

If the sauce contains cheese, cream, or milk sauce, you should only eat if their label states “pasteurized”; if the sauce contains eggs, make sure that they are fully cooked; if it is any other type of industrial sauce, take a look at the nutrition facts and avoid those with high saturated fat, sugar, and/or salt content.

Too Much Shrimp During Pregnancy

The problem of eating too much seafood while pregnant is related to the mercury content level of some seafood.

Here is the truth about mercury in pregnancy, mercury is a type of metal that passes into the air, soil, and water during some manufacturing processes.

Small organisms in the water take the mercury in, which creates chain contamination, where small fish eat those small organisms and large fish eat small fish.

In theory, the larger the fish the more mercury is found in its tissue. 

A small amount of mercury in the bloodstream does not cause significant health concerns in healthy adults, however the same does not apply to babies, mercury can harm a fetus’ growing brain.

Moreover, mercury has the capacity to be passed for the baby during breastfeeding. For this reason, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid eating high mercury level seafood. 

Luckily, shrimp is among the option with a green sign for pregnant women according to the FDA, which means that pregnant women should not worry about shrimp’s mercury level. On the contrary, fish such as king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, tuna (bigeye) are among the options that pregnant women should avoid due to their mercury content. 

Accidentally Ate Raw Shrimp While Pregnant – What to do?

If you have accidentally eaten raw shrimp while pregnant without knowing about its risk, do not panic. 

The best thing to do in this scenario is to let your doctor know and monitor for any of the symptoms of foodborne illness, which might include fever (above 38°C or 100°F), nausea, vomit, diarrhea, and muscle ache. Also, do not hesitate to go to an emergency room if you feel any of these symptoms. You might need to take a blood test to confirm the infection and antibiotic treatment. 

Can I Eat Shrimp Cocktail While Pregnant Conclusion

Shrimp cocktail is delicious and relatively healthy as an appetizer, shrimps are low in fat and rich in protein, iron, and zinc.

However, many pregnant women wonder “Can I eat shrimp cocktails while pregnant?” for those of you who are craving for shrimp cocktail, yes you can eat it. 

Although some food safety measures should be followed so that you can enjoy your shrimp cocktail with no worries.

Firstly, make sure to choose a fresh shrimp to cook; secondly, thoroughly cook the shrimp and eat it while still hot; thirdly, wash your hands and any kitchen utensil that has come into contact with the raw shrimp.  


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