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


You are watching: Can you eat imitation crab while pregnant

Last to update on June 26, 2021

Crab is popular, tasty and a lean source of protein, so no wonder plenty of pregnant women want to recognize if they can eat that safely. Shellfish and seafood can be a confound area when you’re worried around what you can and also can’t eat once you’re pregnant, so i investigated all varieties of crab meat in detail, consisting of imitation crab.

Can Pregnant females Eat Crab? Pregnant women can safely eat all types of crab meat (including legs and also claws) if it’s freshly and totally cooked. Imitation crab is generally safe in pregnancy, too. Some crab dishes might need to it is in checked prior to eating lock in pregnancy.

Crab is therefore versatile, it shows up in a many recipes. Over there are tons of various crab species, too. Come make sure you acquire the most comprehensive information on eat all species of crab in pregnancy, I’ve researched plenty of popular dishes for this article.


Covered in this Article:


The Safest method of eat Crab in pregnancy

The Safest way of eat Crab in pregnancy

Crab meat is safe if it’s totally cooked and eaten as shortly as feasible after food preparation it. Raw or undercooked crab need to be avoided when you’re pregnant as the may lead to foodborne disease (source: NHS).

Since no one likes come eat life crab (even if they’re not pregnant!), it’s the undercooked form you must watch the end for. This is particularly true of larger crab varieties as the bigger the crab, the longer the cooking time. Constantly check the recommended cook times for any type of crab recipe.

As crab is something the spoils conveniently (cooked crab only lasts around three days in the refrigerator), right here are some tips ~ above selecting and also eating crab meat when you’re pregnant:

If you didn’t chef the crab yourself, examine when it was cooked, if you can. This is a an excellent idea if you’re eat ‘fresh dressed’ crab, or ones in sandwiches, subs or as a crabmeat topping. Cook crab meat have to be pearly and also opaque, no translucent or slimy. Fresh crab meat should have actually a faint, sweet smell. Anything the smells tart or fishy may have actually gone bad. As soon as buying new crab to cook yourself, check for specimens that have actually been stored correctly in a clean tank, and are quiet alive and also moving. Dead, uncooked crabs spoil an extremely quickly and should it is in avoided. Shelf-stable crab meat (often labeled jumbo lump crab meat or similar) is the tinned kind in a can, found on a shelf fairly than in a fridge. This is normally pasteurized and is for sure to eat. Once opened, save it in the fridge and also eat it within a pair of days. New picked crab meat that isn’t pasteurized is occasionally in a can or bath tub that will constantly be presented in a refrigerator or ~ above ice. This is still safe to eat, yet treat it favor fresh crab – check the ‘use by’ dates on it, and also don’t exceed them.
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Is Crab High in Mercury?

Crab is an extremely low in mercury compared to some various other seafood and also fish. The FDA list crab (Blue, King, and also Snow) as having an typical of 0.065 components per million that mercury, which is just one of the lowest levels because that seafood (source: FDA).

The environmental Defense Fund’s ‘Seafood Selector’ list many types of crab (king, blue, stone, snow, Dungeness and southern tanner) together “low” in mercury, too. Therefore, due to its low mercury level, crab is a great option for pregnant women.

How lot Crab have the right to Pregnant ladies Eat?

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

In the UK, the NHS list crab as among the recommended seafood types to eat in pregnancy, but give no top limit. Basing the limits on the us advice, pregnant women can, in theory, eat approximately 12oz (340g) that crab per week, but it’s much much better to eat a variety of fish to advantage from a varied nutritional profile, quite than one type.

Is Crab good or negative for friend if You’re Pregnant?

Crab is a lean, finish protein that is low 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 recommends crab as among the ‘best choices’ that seafood for a healthy and balanced diet in pregnant (source: FDA).

Bear in mind the a lot counts on how the crab is served. If it’s freshly steamed, served with minimal heavy dressings, then it can be a healthy and also lean source of protein.

If you’re eat it baked v a lot of cheese, blended with a the majority of mayo, or with vast amounts of butter, you’ll include unnecessary calories and fat. Better choices would certainly be to use it dressed v herbs and veggies such as in a pave or together a salad topping.

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

Can Pregnant females Eat Crab Claws and also Crab Legs?

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

It’s safe to eat crab claws and crab legs as soon as you’re pregnant, so lengthy as the legs and also claws have been fully cooked (see above for more advice ~ above this).

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Are All species of Crab yes sir in Pregnancy?

I’m often asked about different types of crab, and whether they’re all for sure to eat in pregnancy. Various crabs are eaten in different parts of the world, depending on what’s easily accessible near your coastline (or what it s okay shipped in).

For the avoidance the doubt, all the crab species below room safe come eat as soon as you’re pregnant, so lengthy as the crab meat is completely cooked:




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Brown Crab – common in the UK, Europe, around the north Sea and the Med. Additionally called the ‘edible crab’ Blue Crab – likewise called the ‘Chesapeake Crab’, discovered mostly top top the East coastline of the USA Dungeness Crab – typically found ~ above the West coasts of north America King Crab (also called the Red King crab or Alaskan King Crab), often found in cold waters such together the north PacificStone Crab – likewise known together the Florida rock Crab, they’re famous for their vast claws and are found in the Western part of the north Atlantic. SoftShell Crab – this isn’t a varieties but describes eating crabs that have molted and also therefore still have a soft shell. In the USA these room usually Blue Crabs.Snow Crab – additionally known as the Opilio Crab, known for that large, lengthy legs, which are regularly served or purchase on their own. Peekytoe Crab – provided to be dubbed the Maine absent Crab or Sand Crab. Quite hard to find but prized because that its meat. Horseshoe Crab – not technically a crab, and hard to find outside Asia. However, they’re tho edible and safe come eat if cooked.

Can Pregnant ladies Eat Imitation Crab?

Imitation crab (which may also be labeled man-made crab, faux crab, crab sticks, seafood sticks, kamaboko or surimi) is safe to eat in pregnancy as it’s already fully cooked. Plus, it’s no actually do of crab!

Imitation crab is made out of a fish paste, generally Alaskan pollock, held together with different ingredients relying on the recipe. This could be egg white, transglutaminase, potato starch or wheat. The red or pink color comes from food coloring, and also salt and sugar are periodically added.

If egg is used, it’s cooking as part of the production process. As long as there’s no allergy issue, imitation crab has ingredients that room usually pregnancy safe. That said, “you gain what you pay for” and also you’ll have actually realized indigenous the listed ingredients the imitation crab is a heavily processed food containing number of additives.

Imitation crab, therefore, doesn’t have the services of authentic, new crab meat, i beg your pardon is why imitation crab is often a many cheaper than the genuine thing. Actual crab contains an ext vitamins and minerals. Actual crab additionally has no carbohydrate or added sugars, which is common in the to produce of imitation crab (source: PubMed).

There’s nothing ‘wrong’ through eating imitation crab when you’re pregnant. It’s cheap, convenient and is safe to eat. However, if you pay a small extra for genuine crab, you’ll have actually the services of much more vitamins and also minerals, as well as a good source of skinny protein, without any type of additives.

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Crab Dishes and also Their safety in pregnancy

Crab is a functional ingredient and also appears in many recipes. Several of them may need double-checking prior to tucking in once you’re pregnant, therefore I’ve broken down the most commonly queried crab bowl below.

Crab Rangoon (also well-known as crab wontons, crab puffs or crab dumplings) deserve to contain either real or imitation crab meat. The crab meat is nearly 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 nearly always made through imitation crab, quite than genuine crab. Either is well – imitation crab episode is safe, as is real crab sushi, so long as the crab is cooked through. Traditional, raw fish sushi isn’t safe to eat in pregnancy. Crab Paste, usually a spreadable sandwich filling, is safe to eat if it’s pasteurized, which it nearly always is. If the crab dough is in a deserve to or jar and is ~ above a shelf, and also not in a fridge (e.g. Shippam’s) then it’s safe. If it’s the Asian kind (dehydrated paste provided in Thai and comparable cooking), then it’s safe if cooked through as component of the final dish. Deviled Crab can either average a crab combined with spiced ingredients, or Crab Croquettes, deep-fried in a Spanish style. Both room safe in pregnancy as they room usually totally cooked and also served hot. It’s constantly worth checking that the ingredient (e.g. Cream or egg) are fully cooked, too. Crab bake or Crab Pasta almost always contains cooked crab, therefore it’s safe to eat once you’re pregnant. If the roasted or pasta has actually creamy sauce, double-check that any type of milk or cream is pasteurized and also that the sauce isn’t thickened with egg yolk, as this may not have actually been cooked extensively enough. On the whole, though, crab bakes and pasta space fine to eat.

If you want an ext advice on choose good, pregnancy-safe seafood options, girlfriend can inspect out my articles on eat tuna in pregnancy, or explore every little thing you should know about eating salmon as soon as you’re pregnant, and also this post on shrimp/prawns, too.

This post has been reviewed and also approved for publishing in line with our editorial policy.