For the most part, you can still enjoy all the same foods while pregnant. There are some restrictions, however, and some areas of confusion. One place we see plenty of confusion is seafood, and in particular, crawfish. This is due to concerns about mercury and how it may impact a baby. Still, provided seafood is prepared properly and is low in mercury, you should be okay. Let’s take a deeper dive into crawfish and whether or not you can have it if you’re pregnant.
Crawfish Green Light
The good news is that you don’t need to entirely avoid crawfish if you’re pregnant. Provided it’s fully cooked and properly prepared, it’s perfectly safe to eat. According to the FDA, even compared to other kinds of seafood, crawfish are low in mercury with an average of 0.033 parts per million. The FDA also considers any seafood with 0.1 parts per million or less of mercury a “low” amount of mercury, so shellfish should be fine. However, there are still some other considerations before we put this one to bed.
When You Should Be Concerned
We’ve caveated all of this with “if properly prepared” and “when fully cooked.” That’s because it’s important for any seafood, including shellfish, to be cooked properly. Thankfully, shellfish are generally not the kinds of seafood that people eat raw. However, suppose it isn’t properly prepared and is undercooked. In that case, you do run the risk of exposing yourself and your baby to pathogens, bacteria, or even the possibility of parasitic diseases.
Safely Prepping Crawfish
How do we know when crawfish are safely prepared? For one, we can follow the United States Department of Agriculture’s food safety guidelines. This entails preventing cross-contamination with other foods by using separate cutting boards and preparation tools and washing and sterilizing all food prep surfaces or tools. Further, be sure to wash your hands, appliances, or any other surfaces that come in contact with your shellfish.
Make sure to reach an internal temperature of 165°F, or 74°C, before serving. Use a thermometer for best results. Remember that a pregnant person has a weaker immune system than they normally would, so food safety is of the utmost importance.
COSTAS INN IS YOUR SEAFOOD DESTINATION
Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. So here’s to 50 years, and cheers to 50 more!
You may recognize our restaurant recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today and #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our nine appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.
You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! Of course, you can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!