Oysters and other shellfish can be thoroughly cooked to kill the parasites Vibrio vulnificus and Toxoplasma gondii, which cannot live at high temperatures. Oysters and other shellfish can therefore be consumed by pregnant women in their whole.
Is it okay to eat oysters when pregnant?
The quick response is: Yes, eating oysters while pregnant can occasionally be OK (and even beneficial). However, this does not imply that eating all varieties and preparations of oysters is safe.
Raw oysters are frequently provided. Additionally, while some people can consume raw oysters without experiencing any negative effects, eating any kind of raw meat or seafood while pregnant is risky.
Your immune system deteriorates during pregnancy. Additionally, a weak immune system makes you more prone to infections like food poisoning. When you consume bacteria-filled food that is raw or undercooked, this can make you sick.
Listeria and Vibrio vulnificus infections are two examples of many types of food poisoning. In extremely few instances, these foodborne infections during pregnancy might result in difficulties like miscarriage, stillbirth, or early delivery.
Not only should you avoid raw oysters during pregnancy, you should also avoid smoked oysters. Despite being smoked, they are technically cooked, though not necessarily at a safe temperature.
How about steamed oysters?
Oysters and other shellfish that have been fully cooked are safe to consume while pregnant. Fish that has been cooked kills dangerous bacteria and viruses that can be particularly detrimental to you and your unborn child when you are pregnant. Pregnant women should only consume fish and shellfish that has been cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees F, according to both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Along with classics like salmon and pollock, oysters are listed by the FDA as being among the “best option” low-mercury seafood.
Because some fish contain high levels of mercury, which can harm a fetus’s developing brain system, experts advise pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant to restrict the quantity and variety of fish they eat. Oysters have the least mercury content, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Fish and shellfish from this group, which also includes salmon, sole, scallops, shrimp, haddock, and tilapia, are safe for pregnant women to consume up to two 6-oz portions per week.