Written by Gina Waggott, medically Reviewed by Janet Gordon RD, MBDA in eating Out,Fresh Food,Meat & Seafood


You are watching: Can i eat imitation crab while pregnant

Last updated on June 26, 2021

Crab is popular, tasty and a lean source of protein, therefore no wonder countless pregnant women desire to understand if they deserve to eat it safely. Shellfish and seafood deserve to be a confound area once you’re worried about what friend can and also can’t eat once you’re pregnant, so ns investigated all types of crab meat in detail, including imitation crab.

Can Pregnant women Eat Crab? Pregnant women have the right to safely eat all species of crab meat (including legs and claws) if it’s freshly and completely cooked. Imitation crab is typically safe in pregnancy, too. Part crab dishes might need to be checked before eating them in pregnancy.

Crab is for this reason versatile, it shows up in a lot of recipes. There are loads of different crab species, too. Come make sure you get the most thorough information on eating all types of crab in pregnancy, I’ve researched countless popular dishes because that this article.


Covered in this Article:


The Safest method of eating Crab in pregnant

The Safest method of eat Crab in pregnancy

Crab meat is safe if it’s totally cooked and eaten as shortly as possible after cooking it. Raw or undercooked crab should be avoided as soon as you’re pregnant as the may result in foodborne disease (source: NHS).

Since no one likes come eat raw crab (even if they’re not pregnant!), it’s the undercooked form you need to watch the end for. This is particularly true of larger crab types as the larger the crab, the longer the cooking time. Constantly check the recommended chef times for any kind of crab recipe.

As crab is something the spoils easily (cooked crab just lasts about three job in the refrigerator), here are part tips on selecting and eating crab meat when you’re pregnant:

If friend didn’t cook the crab yourself, inspect when it to be cooked, if girlfriend can. This is a great idea if you’re eating ‘fresh dressed’ crab, or people in sandwiches, subs or together a crabmeat topping. Cook crab meat need to be pearly and also opaque, no translucent or slimy. Fresh crab meat should have actually a faint, sweet smell. Anything the smells sour or fishy may have actually gone bad. As soon as buying fresh crab to cook yourself, inspect for specimens that have been stored correctly in a clean tank, and are still alive and moving. Dead, uncooked crabs spoil really quickly and should be avoided. Shelf-stable crab meat (often labeled jumbo bump crab meat or similar) is the tinned kind in a can, uncovered on a shelf quite than in a fridge. This is normally pasteurized and is safe to eat. When opened, keep it in the fridge and eat it in ~ a pair of days. Fresh picked crab meat the isn’t pasteurized is occasionally in a can or bathtub that will constantly be shown in a frozen refrigerator or top top ice. This is still for sure to eat, however treat it choose fresh crab – examine the ‘use by’ days on it, and don’t exceed them.
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Is Crab High in Mercury?

Crab is really low in mercury contrasted to some various other seafood and also fish. The FDA list crab (Blue, King, and Snow) as having an median of 0.065 parts per million the mercury, which is among the lowest levels for seafood (source: FDA).

The environmental Defense Fund’s ‘Seafood Selector’ lists many species of crab (king, blue, stone, snow, Dungeness and also southern tanner) as “low” in mercury, too. Therefore, because of its short mercury level, crab is a great option for pregnant women.

How much Crab deserve to Pregnant ladies Eat?

The FDA in the USA recommends the pregnant females eat 8-12oz (3-4 servings) the a selection of fish and also seafood every week (source: FDA). Crab is among their ‘best’ selections as it’s short in mercury (see above).

In the UK, the NHS list crab as among the recommended seafood species to eat in pregnancy, yet give no top limit. Basing the limits on the us advice, pregnant ladies can, in theory, eat approximately 12oz (340g) of crab every week, however it’s much much better to eat a range of fish to advantage from a varied nutritional profile, rather than one type.

Is Crab an excellent or negative for you if You’re Pregnant?

Crab is a lean, complete protein the is short in calorie (around 75 because that a 3oz/85g serving) (source: SFGate). It’s high in vitamin B12, calcium, folate, zinc and also phosphorous (source: Precision Nutrition).

The FDA proposal crab as one of the ‘best choices’ that seafood for a healthy diet in pregnant (source: FDA).

Bear in mind that a lot relies on how the crab is served. If it’s freshly steamed, served with minimal heavy dressings, climate it have the right to be a healthy and lean source of protein.

If you’re eating it baked through a most cheese, combined with a the majority of mayo, or with substantial amounts of butter, you’ll add unnecessary calories and also fat. Far better choices would be to use it dressed with herbs and veggies such as in a plunder or together a salad topping.

Crab deserve to be high in sodium or cholesterol, depending upon the species. This isn’t usually a worry if only eating crab a couple of time a week. However, if you’re watching her sodium/salt intake, or need to monitor your cholesterol levels, then inspect this very first before eat crab.

Can Pregnant females Eat Crab Claws and also Crab Legs?

Pregnant women aren’t just minimal to the kind of white and also brown crab meat that is choose from the key body of the crab.

It’s for sure to eat crab claws and crab legs as soon as you’re pregnant, so long as the legs and also claws have been fully cooked (see above for an ext advice top top this).

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Are All varieties of Crab yes in Pregnancy?

I’m regularly asked around different types of crab, and whether they’re all safe to eat in pregnancy. Various crabs are eaten in different parts that the world, depending upon what’s obtainable near your coastline (or what gets shipped in).

For the avoidance that doubt, all the crab species below are safe to eat when you’re pregnant, so long as the crab meat is thoroughly cooked:




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Brown Crab – usual in the UK, Europe, approximately the phibìc Sea and also the Med. Likewise called the ‘edible crab’ Blue Crab – likewise called the ‘Chesapeake Crab’, found mostly ~ above the East coastline of the USA Dungeness Crab – generally found top top the West coastlines of north America King Crab (also dubbed the Red King crab or Alaskan King Crab), often discovered in cold waters such as the north PacificStone Crab – also known as the Florida rock Crab, they’re famed for their large claws and are discovered in the Western component of the north Atlantic. SoftShell Crab – this isn’t a species but describes eating crabs that have actually molted and also therefore still have actually a soft shell. In the USA these room usually Blue Crabs.Snow Crab – also known as the Opilio Crab, recognized for that is large, lengthy legs, which are often served or to buy on their own. Peekytoe Crab – provided to be called the Maine rock Crab or Sand Crab. Quite tough to find but prized for its meat. Horseshoe Crab – no technically a crab, and hard to uncover outside Asia. However, they’re quiet edible and safe come eat if cooked.

Can Pregnant ladies Eat Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab (which may additionally be labeled synthetic crab, faux crab, crab sticks, seafood sticks, kamaboko or surimi) is for sure to eat in pregnancy together it’s already totally cooked. Plus, it’s not actually made of crab!

Imitation crab is made out of a fish paste, commonly Alaskan pollock, held together with different ingredients depending upon the recipe. This might be egg white, transglutaminase, potato starch or wheat. The red or pink shade comes indigenous food coloring, and salt and sugar are occasionally added.

If egg is used, it’s cooking as part of the manufacturing process. As long as there’s no allergy issue, imitation crab contains ingredients that room usually pregnant safe. The said, “you get what you salary for” and also you’ll have actually realized native the detailed ingredients the imitation crab is a heavily processed food containing numerous additives.

Imitation crab, therefore, doesn’t have actually the benefits of authentic, new crab meat, i beg your pardon is why imitation crab is often a lot cheaper 보다 the genuine thing. Genuine crab contains much more vitamins and minerals. Actual crab additionally has no carbs or included sugars, i m sorry is usual in the manufacture of imitation crab (source: PubMed).

There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with eating imitation crab as soon as you’re pregnant. It’s cheap, convenient and is safe to eat. However, if you salary a little extra for actual crab, you’ll have actually the services of more vitamins and minerals, and also a good source of skinny protein, without any type of additives.

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Crab Dishes and Their safety and security in pregnancy

Crab is a functional ingredient and also appears in numerous recipes. Some of them might need double-checking prior to tucking in when you’re pregnant, for this reason I’ve damaged down the most generally queried crab key below.

Crab Rangoon (also well-known as crab wontons, crab puffs or crab dumplings) have the right to contain either real or imitation crab meat. The crab meat is almost always cooked prior to the little parcels space formed and fried, so crab rangoon is for sure to eat as soon as pregnant. Crab Sushi is almost always made through imitation crab, rather than real crab. Either is fine – imitation crab sushi is safe, as is genuine crab sushi, so lengthy as the crab is cook through. Traditional, raw fish sushi isn’t safe to eat in pregnancy. Crab Paste, generally a spreadable sandwich filling, is safe to eat if it’s pasteurized, i m sorry it nearly always is. If the crab paste is in a deserve to or jar and also is ~ above a shelf, and not in a refrigerator (e.g. Shippam’s) then it’s safe. If it’s the Asian type (dehydrated paste supplied in Thai and comparable cooking), then it’s for sure if cooked with as component of the final dish. Deviled Crab have the right to either mean a crab blended with spiced ingredients, or Crab Croquettes, deep-fried in a Spanish style. Both space safe in pregnancy as they are usually completely cooked and also served hot. It’s constantly worth checking the the ingredient (e.g. Cream or egg) are completely cooked, too. Crab roasted or Crab Pasta almost constantly contains cooked crab, therefore it’s safe to eat once you’re pregnant. If the bake or pasta has creamy sauce, double-check that any type of milk or cream is pasteurized and also that the sauce isn’t thickened v egg yolk, together this may not have actually been cooked completely enough. On the whole, though, crab bakes and also pasta room fine come eat.

If you want an ext advice on choose good, pregnancy-safe seafood options, girlfriend can inspect out my short articles on eat tuna in pregnancy, or explore whatever you need to know about eating salmon when you’re pregnant, and likewise this short article on shrimp/prawns, too.

This post has to be reviewed and also approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.