What to do if I accidentally ate raw shrimp?

In this piece of writing we’ll answer the question ‘what to do if I accidentally ate raw shrimp?’ We will also take a look at related queries like is it safe to consume raw shrimp, and what happens if you do. 

What to do if I accidentally ate raw shrimp?

There is nothing to do if you have accidentally eaten raw shrimp if you don’t have an allergy to shellfish. It is unlikely for any problematic symptom to appear if you have taken raw shrimp in small amounts. 

Consumption of shrimp is likely to become a problem if you have an allergy. If that is the case, use an epi pen to counter the allergic reaction. If you don’t have it then an immediate trip to ER can help you manage and prevent the symptoms of allergic reaction. 

Is it safe to eat raw shrimp?

No, it is not entirely safe to consume raw shrimp. However, chances of food poisoning and infections are negligible and illness is unlikely to occur. However, storage condition, cleanliness and preparation method plays an important role in ensuring the safety of raw shrimp. 

If shrimps are washed, deveined and stored at optimal temperature where bacterial activity is lowest, they can be consumed raw without any issues. Moreover, raw shrimp prepared in lemon, vinegar or any highly acidic sauce don’t carry a large amount of bacteria. As a result such shrimps are safe for consumption. 

What happens if you eat raw shrimp? 

Normally, nothing happens if you eat raw shrimp, another normal process of digestion. However, if the shrimp has not been stored or cleaned properly, and carries bacteria in large amounts then your chances of food poisoning can increase. 

Although fresh raw shrimp contain around 60% of the food poisoning causing bacteria, the likelihood of the occurrence of food poisoning is really low. Despite that here are some of the signs and symptoms to look out for:

  • Bloating
  • Stomach ache
  • Headache
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

If any of these symptoms occur after eating shrimp consult the doctor as soon as possible. 

What happens if you eat raw shrimp when you have shelf allergies?

Allergic reactions can occur if you have an allergy from shellfish such as shrimps. The reaction can vary from minor stomach related issues or a severe anaphylaxis involving several systems of the body. Here is what can happen if you eat shrimp when you have shellfish allergy

  • Swelling and tingling of lips and mouth
  • Digestive issues, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Hives, itching, and eczema on skin
  • Swelling of throat, hands, fingers, or lips
  • Troubled breathing, congestion, runny nose, sneezing and wheezing
  • Dizziness and fainting 

How long after eating shrimp will you get sick? 

If you have eaten contaminated shrimp the symptoms of food poisoning will start after thirty minutes to two hours. It can also take a longer time like a day or two. Symptoms can include extreme digestive discomfort, indigestion, vomiting and loose bowel. 

Food poisoning resolves when the bacteria or causative agent passes out of the system. It can take from a few days to weeks. Proper hydration is crucial to make up for the loss of bodily fluids. Medicinal intervention is also required to properly treat the symptoms. 

How soon should fresh shrimp be consumed? 

For the best taste and quality, fresh shrimp should be consumed right after cleaning and washing. However, if consuming right away is not an option then, fresh shrimp can be consumed in four to five days if kept in the refrigerator.

If you want to store it for a longer time then freezing is best. Shrimp will last upto 4 months if frozen properly. It is important to remember that only fresh shrimp is safe for raw consumption. Avoid using refrigerated or frozen shrimp for the cuisines that include raw shrimps. 

How to safely consume shrimp? 

  • There are several ways you can safely consume shrimps whether they are cooked or raw. Here are some tips, and points you can keep in mind while consuming shrimps. 
  • Whether you are eating them raw or cooked make sure they are ethically sourced and come from a reputable vendor that are known to have Good Storage practices. 
  • Make sure shrimps are stored at optimal temperature and ideal storage conditions to avoid contamination  and increase in the bacterial load. This ensures overall quality and safety of shrimps. 
  • Thoroughly wash and devein shrimp and cook them right away or flash freeze. Bacteria and other problematic micro organisms will have a very small window for replication and load will not increase to alarming levels. 
  • For raw consumption make sure shrimps are fresh and treated with acidic liquids such as  lemon juice and vinegar for proper cleaning. Use of other sauces with low pH also prevent spoilage and keep the bacterial load to minimum. 

For shrimp recipes click here.  

Other FAQs about Shrimp that you may be interested in.

Can you eat shrimp every day?

Can shrimp go in the fridge?

How to boil frozen shrimp?

Are dried shrimp safe to eat?


In this piece of writing we have answered the question ‘what to do if I accidentally ate raw shrimp?’ We also took a look at related queries like is it safe to consume raw shrimp, and what happens if you do.