There are cultures in which raw shrimp is considered a delicacy. However, food scientists do not recommend eating raw shrimp because of the risk of food poisoning. Shrimp can carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Normally, cooking shrimp will be enough to kill the contaminants that naturally appear, making them safe to eat. However, pre-cooked shrimp served and sold in retail establishments have been known to carry bacteria and viruses that can cause people to become ill upon eating them.
Cooked Shrimp Recalled Due to Bacteria
In March, AFC Distribution Corp. recalled its Cooked Butterfly Tail-On Whiteleg Shrimp because it may have been contaminated with Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The shrimp were used as an ingredient for sushi sold at retailers in dozens of states, including Illinois. There were no reported illnesses related to the shrimp at the time of the recall.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a bacteria found in saltwater and raw shellfish. Symptoms typically last up to seven days and may include:
An average, healthy adult can usually recover from Vibrio parahaemolyticus without requiring any additional treatment. People with pre-existing conditions that weaken their immune systems are at greater risk of suffering serious or even deadly effects from the bacteria. Freezing does not kill the bacteria. Only thoroughly cooking the shrimp is known to kill it.
Safety with Shellfish
All shellfish are dangerous to consume raw or undercooked because of the bacteria that they naturally ingest. If you are someone with a weakened immune system, it may be best to avoid eating shellfish. When preparing shellfish on your own, you must be careful to thoroughly cook it so that it is safe to eat:
- When you are cooking the shellfish, its shell should crack open if it is thoroughly cooked.
- Once you notice the shell has cracked open, you should still continue cooking it for several more minutes.
- Do not eat shellfish that you find with its shell already cracked open before cooking because it may be contaminated.
- If you have removed the shell before cooking, the shellfish should become opaque and firm when it is done.
Contact an Illinois Food Poisoning Lawyer
You should immediately see a doctor if you have become ill after eating shellfish. You should also talk to an Illinois food poisoning attorney at Newland & Newland, LLP, about whether you can receive compensation from the party that sold or prepared the shellfish. To schedule a consultation, call 847-840-8950.