Can you eat shrimp without deveining?

In this brief article, we will answer the question,”Can you eat shrimp without deveining?” We will explain how to devein shrimp and its nutritional value. We will also discuss some health benefits of consuming shrimp.

Can you eat shrimp without deveining?

Yes, you can definitely eat shrimp without deveining it. To devein or not to devein is all a matter of an individual personal choice and has nothing to do with hygiene. shrimp veins can be consumed with no risk of food borne illness as long as the shrimp has been properly stored and prepared.

If the vein is very visible through the meat and shell, it might make the shrimp look unappealing and a bit gross to some people. It would therefore make perfect sense for you to remove it so that you just add to its aesthetics. 

This is easy to do for large shrimps, you just require a sharp paring knife which you will use to slit along the back and remove the vein with the knife’s tip.

For small sized and medium shrimp it is very tedious to devein the shrimp and it is not a necessary task. It could take very many hours to get through the deveining process for small shrimps and you are better off purchasing pre-packed frozen deveined shrimp.

How do you devein shrimps?

shrimp can sometimes be a pain to clean and devein, let’s look at a step-by-step guide on how to peel and devein shrimp.

Step 1:

To peel shrimp, you need to remove the head and legs. Then proceed to peel the shells from the shrimp. You can then squeeze the tail to remove it from the body.

Step 2:

To devein a shrimp, use a small sharp knife to make a slit along the middle of the back to expose the dark vein then pull it out.

Step 3:

To devein a shrimp without having to cut through the back, just pull the vein through the opening at the head end.

If you find that to be too much work, there are deveined shrimp that you buy frozen from the store. You can then cook this without the troubles and worries of the natural grit present in the shrimp’s digestive system.

After handling shrimp make sure to wash your hands with soap because the natural bacteria in their digestive tract can spread out in your kitchen.

What are the risks of eating shrimp that has not been deveined?

The risk of becoming ill after consuming shrimp that has not been deveined is very low. The taste can however differ from that of deveined shrimp and you might find it to be slightly grittier in texture compared with deveined shrimp. 

Most of the bacteria that are present in the digestive tract will most likely get destroyed by the heat during cooking and well cooked shrimp should be safe for consumption. In any case if the idea of eating a shrimp’s digestive tract does not seem so appealing to you, you can steer clear of shrimp that has not been deveined.

What is the nutritional value of shrimp?

Shrimp is a very nutritional sea food that is also low in calories. A 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of shrimp has the below nutritional profile:

  • Calories: 84.0
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Protein: 20.4 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.2g
  • Iron: 0.433 mg
  • Phosphorus: 201 mg
  • Potassium: 220 mg
  • Zinc: 1.39 mg
  • Magnesium: 33.2 mg
  • Sodium: 94.4 mg
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Sugars: 0 g
  • Vitamin B12: 1.4mcg

What are the health benefits of consuming shrimp?

Supports a Healthy Pregnancy

Shrimp does not have any mercury unlike most other seafood. This makes it useful for pregnant women who want to reap health benefits of seafood during their pregnancy periods. Shrimp is also loaded with beneficial nutrients that are important during pregnancy such as Calcium, Zinc, Choline, Vitamin B12 and Protein.

Shrimp contains antioxidants

Shrimp contains antioxidants that are very useful in preventing cancer by fighting free radicals and avoiding cell damage. Astaxanthin which is a red pigment that belongs to a class of chemicals called carotenoids is the main antioxidant. It is usually gotten from shrimp eating algae which it is a component of. 

It is what gives shrimp the red hue and also functions to help prevent inflammation by fighting any free molecules.

It helps strengthen bones

Shrimp is a good source of nutrients which are critical in maintaining bone health. It contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, selenium and is also a good source of high quality protein. Studies have shown that consuming a lean source of protein such as shrimp could assist in the reduction of osteoporosis in the elderly.

Other FAQs about Shrimp that you may be interested in.

How long is cooked shrimp good for in the fridge?

How long does fresh shrimp last in the fridge?

Can you cook shrimp by boiling it?

Can you cook already cooked shrimp?


In this brief article, we have answered the question,” can you eat shrimp without deveining?” We have explained how to devein shrimp and its nutritional value. We have also discussed some health benefits of consuming shrimp.