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


You are watching: Are crab cakes safe during pregnancy

Last to update on June 26, 2021

Crab is popular, tasty and also a lean resource of protein, therefore no wonder countless pregnant women want to understand if they have the right to eat that safely. Shellfish and also seafood can be a confound area once you’re worried about what friend can and can’t eat as soon as you’re pregnant, so ns investigated all varieties of crab meat in detail, consisting of imitation crab.

Can Pregnant females Eat Crab? Pregnant women can safely eat all varieties of crab meat (including legs and also claws) if it’s fresh and fully cooked. Imitation crab is usually safe in pregnancy, too. Part crab dishes may need to it is in checked before eating them in pregnancy.

Crab is so versatile, it appears in a lot of recipes. Over there are lots of various crab species, too. To make certain you acquire the most thorough information on eating all types of crab in pregnancy, I’ve researched many popular dishes for this article.


Covered in this Article:


The Safest means of eating Crab in pregnancy

The Safest way of eat Crab in pregnancy

Crab meat is for sure if it’s totally cooked and also eaten as shortly as possible after cooking it. Raw or undercooked crab need to be avoided when you’re pregnant as that may lead to foodborne disease (source: NHS).

Since nobody likes come eat life crab (even if they’re no pregnant!), it’s the undercooked kind you need to watch the end for. This is specifically true of larger crab types as the bigger the crab, the longer the cooking time. Constantly check the recommended cook times for any kind of crab recipe.

As crab is something that spoils easily (cooked crab just lasts about three job in the refrigerator), below are part tips top top selecting and also eating crab meat once you’re pregnant:

cooked crab meat should be pearly and also opaque, no translucent or slimy. New crab meat should have actually a faint, sweet smell. Anything that smells tart or fishy may have gone bad. When buying new crab to cook yourself, check for specimens that have actually been stored effectively in a clean tank, and are quiet alive and also moving. Dead, uncooked crabs spoil an extremely quickly and also should it is in avoided. Shelf-stable crab meat (often labeling jumbo lump crab meat or similar) is the tinned form in a can, found on a shelf rather than in a fridge. This is typically pasteurized and is safe to eat. When opened, save it in the fridge and also eat it in ~ a pair of days. New picked crab meat the isn’t pasteurized is occasionally in a deserve to or bath tub that will constantly be shown in a frozen refrigerator or on ice. This is still for sure to eat, but treat it favor fresh crab – check the ‘use by’ dates on it, and don’t exceed them.
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Is Crab High in Mercury?

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

The eco-friendly Defense Fund’s ‘Seafood Selector’ perform many varieties of crab (king, blue, stone, snow, Dungeness and also southern tanner) together “low” in mercury, too. Therefore, because of its short mercury level, crab is a an excellent option because that pregnant women.

How much Crab have the right to Pregnant women Eat?

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

In the UK, the NHS perform crab as one of the encourage seafood types to eat in pregnancy, yet give no upper limit. Basing the borders on the us advice, pregnant women can, in theory, eat approximately 12oz (340g) of crab per week, yet it’s much much better to eat a range of fish to advantage from a varied nutritional profile, fairly than one type.

Is Crab great or poor 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 phosphorous (source: Precision Nutrition).

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

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

If you’re eating it baked v a lot of cheese, mixed with a lot of mayo, or with huge amounts of butter, you’ll include unnecessary calories and also fat. Much better choices would certainly be to use it dressed through herbs and also veggies such together in a pave or as a salad topping.

Crab deserve to be high in salt or cholesterol, depending upon the species. This isn’t typically a problem if just eating crab a pair of times a week. However, if you’re watching your sodium/salt intake, or need to monitor your cholesterol levels, then inspect this very first before eating crab.

Can Pregnant women Eat Crab Claws and Crab Legs?

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

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

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Are All varieties of Crab yes in Pregnancy?

I’m often asked about different types of crab, and also whether they’re all safe to eat in pregnancy. Different crabs are consumed in various parts that the world, depending on what’s easily accessible near your coast (or what gets shipped in).

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




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Brown Crab – common in the UK, Europe, approximately the north Sea and the Med. Likewise called the ‘edible crab’ Blue Crab – additionally called the ‘Chesapeake Crab’, uncovered mostly ~ above the East coast of the USA Dungeness Crab – commonly found on the West coastlines of north America King Crab (also referred to as the Red King crab or Alaskan King Crab), often found in cold waters such together the phibìc PacificStone Crab – additionally known together the Florida stone Crab, they’re renowned for their substantial claws and are discovered in the Western part of the north Atlantic. SoftShell Crab – this isn’t a varieties but describes eating crabs that have actually molted and also therefore still have a soft shell. In the USA these are usually Blue Crabs.Snow Crab – additionally known as the Opilio Crab, recognized for its large, long legs, i m sorry are often served or purchase on their own. Peekytoe Crab – provided to be dubbed the Maine rock Crab or Sand Crab. Quite tough to find but prized because that its meat. Horseshoe Crab – not technically a crab, and also 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 likewise be labeled synthetic crab, faux crab, crab sticks, seafood sticks, kamaboko or surimi) is safe to eat in pregnancy as it’s already completely cooked. Plus, it’s no actually make of crab!

Imitation crab is made the end of a fish paste, typically Alaskan pollock, held together with different ingredients depending on the recipe. This can be egg white, transglutaminase, potato strength or wheat. The red or pink color comes indigenous food coloring, and salt and also sugar are occasionally added.

If egg is used, it’s cooked as component of the manufacturing process. As long as there’s no allergy issue, imitation crab consists of ingredients that space usually pregnancy safe. That said, “you obtain what you pay for” and also you’ll have realized from the listed ingredients the imitation crab is a greatly processed food containing numerous additives.

Imitation crab, therefore, doesn’t have actually the services of authentic, new crab meat, i m sorry is why imitation crab is often a lot of cheaper than the real thing. Genuine crab contains much more vitamins and also minerals. Actual crab likewise has no carbohydrate or included sugars, i m sorry is usual in the produce of imitation crab (source: PubMed).

There’s nothing ‘wrong’ with eating imitation crab once you’re pregnant. It’s cheap, convenient and also is for sure to eat. However, if you pay a small extra for genuine crab, you’ll have the benefits of an ext vitamins and minerals, as well as a good source of skinny protein, without any additives.

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Crab Dishes and Their safety and security in pregnancy

Crab is a flexible ingredient and also appears in many recipes. Several of them may need double-checking before tucking in when you’re pregnant, so I’ve damaged down the most typically queried crab dishes below.

Crab Rangoon (also recognized as crab wontons, crab puffs or crab dumplings) have the right to contain either actual or imitation crab meat. The crab meat is virtually always cooked before the tiny parcels room formed and fried, for this reason crab rangoon is safe to eat as soon as pregnant. Crab Paste, commonly a spreadable sandwich filling, is safe to eat if it’s pasteurized, i beg your pardon it almost always is. If the crab paste is in a can or jar and is ~ above a shelf, and also not in a refrigerator (e.g. Shippam’s) then it’s safe. If it’s the Asian type (dehydrated paste provided in Thai and similar cooking), then it’s for sure if cooked v as component of the last dish. Deviled Crab have the right to either average a crab blended with spiced ingredients, or Crab Croquettes, deep-fried in a Spanish style. Both space safe in pregnancy as they space usually completely cooked and served hot. It’s always worth checking that the ingredient (e.g. Cream or egg) are fully cooked, too. Crab bake or Crab Pasta almost always contains cooked crab, for this reason it’s safe to eat when 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, as this may not have actually been cooked thoroughly enough. On the whole, though, crab bakes and also pasta are fine to eat.

If friend want an ext advice on picking good, pregnancy-safe seafood options, girlfriend can examine out my short articles on eating tuna in pregnancy, or explore whatever you need to know about eating salmon as soon as you’re pregnant, and also this write-up on shrimp/prawns, too.

This short article has to be reviewed and also approved for publication in line v our editorial policy.