Prawns, which are similar to shrimp, can be eaten raw or cooked. However, eating a prawn raw increases the risk of food poisoning due to bacteria and improper preparation.
The prawn's function in its natural habitat is to filter seaweed and algae, but due to bacteria and contaminants in ocean water, the prawn is tainted in this process. While raw fish are served in many Japanese restaurants, the best safeguard against possible contamination is to make sure your seafood is cooked and prepared properly. If you do decide to eat prawns raw, make sure they are cold. Stop eating raw prawns if you notice a strange smell or taste.