Can you eat lobster raw?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat lobster raw?” with an in-depth analysis of lobster, ways to cook lobster and how to safely consume lobster. 

Read on to know about the risks of eating raw lobsters. 

Can you eat lobster raw? 

No, it is not recommended to eat raw lobster. Consumption of raw lobster is associated with severe symptoms of food poisoning which may be due to the bacteria present on the surface of lobster. 

It is recommended by the USDA to avoid consuming raw or undercooked lobster. To be sure all pathogens are killed, cook the lobster to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a food thermometer to maintain a safe internal temperature.


The lobster is a marine invertebrate that belongs to the group of crustaceans. Based on the different species of lobster, they have various sizes. But generally, they all have pretty large bodies when they mature. Lobsters protect themselves with a hard shell that provides the framework for their inner body.

Lobsters feed upon other sea animals including fish, shrimp, crabs, small crustaceans, molluscs. It is this healthy diet that benefits humans through its meat.

The risks of eating raw lobster

Bacterial Infection

When lobsters are not cooked well at an internal temperature of 145℉, there is a high risk of developing a bacterial infection that can result in cramps, chills, fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhoea. 

Two common species of bacteria found in lobster are Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus, which lead to vibriosis. Symptoms from vibriosis typically show up within 24 hours of consuming raw lobster. In some cases, this infection can be serious, and can even lead to death. 

Individuals with a weakened immune system, liver disease and cancer are most at risk of getting sick.

Parasitic Infection

Raw lobsters also pose a risk of developing a parasitic infection. The two most common parasites include roundworms and tapeworms, both of which can cause many health problems including lack of nutrients and weight loss. 

Symptoms of parasitic infection may include anaemia, constipation, diarrhoea, fatigue, bloating, gas, and anal irritation.

Hepatitis infection

Hepatitis infection can also be transmitted through the consumption of raw lobster. It can lead to liver damage. You can be infected with hepatitis for years before it gets diagnosed. 

Toxic algae

Lobsters that feed upon toxic algae can pass these toxins onto the consumers, leading to Amnesic (ASP) or Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). 

After consuming lobster with toxic algae you may experience symptoms within 24 hours of consumption that include fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, memory loss, headache and other neurological complexities.

How to cook lobsters? 

There are two principal ways to cook lobsters; they can either be boiled or steamed. 

To boil a lobster:

  • Place a large bowl of water with salt over a high flame.
  • Once the water starts boiling, place live lobsters with their heads down in the water. 
  • Cook the lobsters for 6-13 minutes, depending on their weight. 
  • After the lobsters have become bright red and are thoroughly cooked, turn off the flame and remove them from the boiling water. 
  • Let the lobsters cool a bit, then serve with melted butter.

This is one of the quickest ways to cook lobsters. This method also helps to ensure that the lobsters are cooked thoroughly and evenly.

To steam a lobster:

  • Take 3-4 inches of water in a large container and bring it to a boil.
  • Put the lobsters in the pan and cover them with a lid. 
  • Steam the lobsters for 8-15 minutes, depending upon the weight. 
  • Carefully transfer the lobsters from the container to the serving tray. 
  • Let them cool a bit, then serve with melted butter. 

Steamed lobsters can be more tender than the boiled ones, but it does take slightly longer to cook.

How to consume lobster safely?

For safe consumption of lobsters:

  • Cook lobsters instantly.
  • Allow them to chill quickly after cooking them. 
  • Keep them refrigerated until you eat them. 
  • If you eat lobsters warm, then eat them immediately after cooking. 
  • Do not rewarm lobsters that have been frozen and reheated previously. This can lead to bacterial diseases as well.
  • Live lobsters should be cooked the same day they are bought. 
  • Store cooked, whole lobsters in a firm airtight container and use them within 2 to 3 days. 
  • Cooked, picked lobster may be stored in a sealed moisture-proof container or bag for 3 to 4 days.
  • The populations vulnerable to foodborne diseases should completely avoid consuming raw ground beef. These include pregnant women, children, older people, and people with suppressed immune systems.

Other FAQs about Lobster that you may be interested in.

Why do we boil lobsters alive?

How to freeze lobster tail?

Can you eat lobster claws?


In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat lobster raw?” with an in-depth analysis of lobster, ways to cook lobster and how to safely consume lobster. Moreover, we have elaborated on the risks of eating raw lobsters.