Can You Eat Oysters While Pregnant? How To Cook Oyster Safely?

Oysters can cause food poisoning is well known, it can cause poisoning for normal people, it can also cause poisoning for pregnant people. However, can you eat oysters while pregnant? Let us find the most accurate answer through the sharing below to ensure safety!

can you eat oysters while pregnant

Are oysters shellfish? Are oysters high in mercury?

During pregnancy, the body will go through a lot of changes; each pregnant person will have different eating preferences. However, in general, pregnant women should not eat certain foods such as undercooked or raw seafood and shellfish. So, are oysters shellfish?

 can you eat raw oysters while pregnant

Oysters contain many nutrients and also contain mercury, but the mercury content in oysters is very low

Oysters are bivalve mollusks, which resemble some species of shellfish, clams, or mussels. Although not officially a shellfish, you should still avoid eating oysters while pregnant. Think of it like shellfish.

Oysters contain many nutrients and also contain mercury, but the mercury content in oysters is very low. Scientific measurements have shown that each oyster contains only 0.012 PPM of mercury. The types of oysters that are low in mercury and safe to eat that the Environmental Defense Fund suggests are:

  • Wild oysters
  • Farmed oysters
  • Eastern/American Oysters
  • Pacific Oysters
  • “Edible” Oysters

However, the amount of mercury in oysters can change in different geographical locations, environments, and living conditions. If the seawater in the area where oysters live is problematic, chances are those oysters will contain more mercury. You have to take care of the oyster's environment to see if it is really healthy or not.

Can you eat raw oysters while pregnant?

can you eat cooked oysters while pregnant 

Pregnant women should not eat raw or undercooked oysters

Oysters are usually most famous for their raw dishes. Many people love this way of eating oysters to enjoy the full flavor of nature. However, is eating raw oysters suitable for pregnant women?

Pregnant women should not eat raw or undercooked oysters. Oysters contain some harmful bacteria, which can cause toxins and even food poisoning for people to eat.

The most famous bacteria in oysters is Vibrio Vulnificus, which commonly causes Vibriosis. This disease can cause immunosuppression, food poisoning and a number of other illnesses. Every year in the US, many people get this disease from eating raw seafood, especially oysters.

Vibrio Vulnificus bacteria will die at high temperatures, so the effective method to kill it is to cook the oysters themselves. Although many people think that adding vinegar or lemon to raw oysters can kill bacteria, this is not entirely true. Some species of bacteria can still live and grow in conditions with weak acids from lemons.

Although pregnant women are not immunocompromised, we should eliminate any risk of infection to be on the safe side. Therefore, you should avoid eating raw or undercooked oysters to stay safe during pregnancy.

What if you ate raw oysters during pregnancy?

If you're pregnant and accidentally eat raw or undercooked oysters, don't worry. You should stay calm and don't panic. The rate of oysters contaminated or unsafe for health is quite low. Many types of bacteria cause poisoning quite quickly, about 4 to 48 hours after entering the body. If you've eaten raw oysters past this time and haven't seen anything suspicious, you're probably safe.

However, if you experience some symptoms such as vomiting, stomach pain, dizziness, diarrhea or discomfort, you should contact your doctor immediately and go to the hospital. Tell your doctor that you have eaten raw oysters for timely treatment. During pregnancy, you may experience nausea due to morning sickness, but you should still check to make sure it's safe.

Can you eat cooked oysters while pregnant?


There are many people who love oyster dishes, but if they are pregnant, do they have to skip all oysters?

The answer is no. Pregnant women can eat fully cooked oysters. When cooking oysters at high temperatures, the bacteria or toxins in oysters will be completely destroyed and it is safe to use.

We'll give you and your family a few suggestions on how to prepare cooked oysters.

Fried oysters

Can you eat fried oysters while pregnant? Yes, you can eat delicious fried oysters while you are pregnant. You can bread or batter oysters and then deep fry them; the high heat will help you get rid of all the bacteria. If you want to be more secure, you should check if the temperature in the center is high enough.

Although this is an attractive dish, pregnant women should limit it. This dish contains a lot of fat and calories. It is not really healthy to eat a lot.

Steamed Oysters

Can you eat steamed oysters while pregnant? Yes, steamed oysters are healthy and healthy food. It is very safe when the oysters are fully cooked. You can double-check by cutting the oysters in half to see if the middle is cooked.

Canned oysters

Most canned oysters are safe for pregnant women. Types of bacteria have been destroyed during the factory's processing and canning and sterilization.

Grilled oysters

Grilled oysters have many variations in diverse seasonings and are loved by many people. No matter how grilled oysters are, they are safe for pregnant women when fully cooked. If you are not a grill person, you can ask the waiter to cook more carefully when eating at a restaurant.

Oyster Rockefeller

This type of oyster is generally safe for pregnant women because it is fully cooked. Its taste is also very special and is loved by many people.

Oysters Kilpatrick

This grilled oyster can be eaten when fully cooked. However, you need to check carefully before enjoying it. If you want to make it for pregnant women, follow our instructions below to be safe.

How to cook oysters safely for pregnant women?


If you want to cook oysters for a pregnant woman, you will need instructions on the time and temperature required for each cooking method. Cooking at the right temperature and time will help kill harmful bacteria, typically Vibrio Vulnificus.

However, if you overcook the oysters, it will make them tough and lose their natural flavor. Our temperature and time guides for each of our cooking methods below will help!

  • Stir-fry: in oil for about 3 minutes at 375°F/ 191°C
  • Boil, make soup or chowder: 3 to 5 minutes when edges curl
  • Chargrilled like BBQ, Grilled, Broiled: 3 inches away from heat source for 3 minutes
  • Steamed: when the water is boiling, put the oysters in and steam for 4 to 9 minutes. If the oysters are bigger, you have to steam them longer.
  • Baked/roasted: at least 10 minutes at 450F/232C

In addition, you should also choose fresh oysters for processing. Dead oysters often contain a lot of harmful bacteria, it has an unpleasant smell and is not safe for pregnant women.

Can you eat smoked oysters when pregnant?

 can you eat smoked oysters while pregnant

Cooked oysters are entirely harmless to pregnant women and even bring many benefits from inherent rich nutrients

Canned smoked oysters are generally safe for pregnancy because the oysters are cooked and sterilized when processed. Canned oysters left at ambient temperature are likely pasteurized or pasteurized. They are now free of harmful bacteria and safe to eat.

However, smoked oysters are often divided into two types and one of which pregnant women should avoid:

Avoid cold-smoked oysters

Cold smoked oysters are kept cool during the smoking process, which is not really cooked. Therefore, the bacteria inside the oyster is only inhibited from growing, not completely dead. When you eat oysters into your body, your body heat can revive bacteria and cause harm.

Hot smoked oysters

Hot smoked oysters are safe for pregnant women to use. The high-temperature smoking process makes the oysters fully cooked and destroys all harmful bacteria.

Can pregnant women eat oyster sauce?

If you are a person who loves to cook, especially Chinese dishes, you will definitely know oyster sauce. This sauce is mostly made from oyster extract, which is a common condiment in cooking.

However, some types of oyster sauce do not contain oyster extract and are simply seasoning. If the oyster sauce does indeed contain oyster extract, it is still safe for pregnant women. Oyster extract is taken after oysters have been cooked. They do not contain bacteria and are completely safe for users, including pregnant women.

Benefits of oysters for pregnant

Cooked oysters are entirely harmless to pregnant women and even bring many benefits from inherent rich nutrients.

Oysters are very low in fat but high in protein. Each oyster usually contains 7g of complete protein, including essential amino acids for the body. In addition, oysters also contain a number of other nutrients such as minerals, selenium, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins (D and B12).

If you know how to cook oysters properly and use them during pregnancy, it will be of great support for the growth and health of the baby.


Oysters have many nutrients that are good for health, but pregnant women should not eat raw or undercooked oysters. When oysters are undercooked, harmful bacteria can grow and cause adverse effects.

However, if you cook oysters completely and use them during pregnancy, it will provide an excellent source of nutrients for the body. Hopefully, our sharing will help pregnant women with more useful knowledge!

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