Q&A: Can you eat prawns while pregnant?

Posted in Pregnancy FAQs and tagged , .

Question & Answer

Eat this, but not too much. Don’t eat it that way but like this. Definitely don’t eat that at all.

Sound familiar? The dos and don’ts of eating while pregnant can feel like a veritable minefield.

One of those ‘touchy’ foods is prawns? Are you a Mumma who loves her shellfish? Read on to find out if you can chow down on that chowder safely.

Can you eat prawns while pregnant?

Spoiler alert this is going to be another one of those yes and no type scenarios. Firstly (and hopefully obviously) if you have a shellfish intolerance or allergy, prawns still remain a big no go. Even if you have some weird cravings – being pregnant is not going to protect you from a reaction.

Assuming you’re a seafood lover from way back and you want to enjoy a few prawns at Christmas lunch, there are a few things to consider. Prawns themselves are safe, but how they’re prepared may not be.

What do you mean, I’ve eaten them plenty of times and never been sick before?

Yup, we get it, you’ve eaten prawns many times over from reputable suppliers and never had an issue. The problem this time is our pregnancy nemesis listeria comes to the party once again.

Those beautiful cold prawns on the buffet are pre-cooked. Pre-cooked chilled meats are always a red flag for potential listeria contamination. Which probably wouldn’t bother you too much normally, but when you’re pregnant it can be a huge issue.

This risk is relatively low but the Australian Guidelines still strongly recommend avoiding all precooked cold seafood during pregnancy.

So how do I get my prawn fix?

We have some good news – prawns are delicious hot too! And hot food is generally considered safe food during pregnancy.

Listeria is considered neutralised in the normal cooking process (over 74 degrees Celsius for more than 2 minutes). All shellfish is also a great way to consume seafood, without the worry of the higher mercury levels associated with other fish.

So, feel free to enjoy garlic prawns, prawn pizza, prawn pasta, prawn twisters, the abovementioned chowder etc. in moderation throughout your pregnancy.

Also always remember to source your seafood from reputable suppliers. If it seems a bit well, fishy, it’s probably best avoided. No one wants an upset tummy while pregnant!

See you next time, we’re off to read 6 healthy food swaps for pregnancy cravings.

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