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Can pregnant women eat crab?


Do you love crabs but are unsure of whether they are safe to eat during pregnancy?

There are some types of seafood that should be avoided during pregnancy, but crab is considered safe for consumption during pregnancy.

Seafood is high in omega-3, high-quality protein, nutrients and minerals that are extremely beneficial for your foetus’s development. Hence, it is recommended for pregnant women to include a variety of seafood in their diets.

However, pregnant women are discouraged from eating certain seafood that are high in mercury content as high amounts of mercury can be harmful for the foetus’s nervous system. These types of seafood include:

  • Shark
  • King mackerel
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Marlin

Crab has a mercury content that is generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, when eating all kinds of seafood, pregnant women should follow these guidelines:

Avoid eating raw fish

Undercooked or raw fish contains parasites and bacteria that may cause foodborne illnesses. As your baby’s immune system is not strong enough to fend off these harmful bacteria, eating raw fish may cause your baby to have developmental problems, birth defects and other pregnancy complications.

As such, it is best to steer clear of all raw food until your baby is delivered.

No smoked seafood

Smoked seafood could still be carrying parasites and bacteria that are not fully killed off. These bacteria may be harmful for your baby’s development. All seafood that you eat should not be undercooked, raw or smoked. They should be cooked fully.

Eat all things in moderation

Although crab is safe to eat during pregnancy, do not eat it in excessive amounts as the mercury content can accumulate in your body to a dangerous amount.

As a general guideline, you should limit your seafood intake (of seafoods that are safe to eat) to 2-3 servings per week.

Take caution when preparing seafood

Wash your hands with soap before and after handling raw seafood.

Wash all cutting boards, utensils and tabletops with soap after handling any raw food.

Use separate knives and cutting boards for raw seafood.

Discard any food that is left in room temperature for more than two hours.

Leftover food should be stored in an airtight container in the fridge at 4 Degree Celsius or lower. They should be discarded after 4 days.                                             

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