Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab Meat?

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Crab is safe to eat while pregnant as long as it is consumed in moderation, according to BabyCenter. The largest problem with eating seafood while pregnant is the danger posed by environmental pollutants, such as mercury, pesticides, PCBs and dioxin. However, crab is low in pollutants, and it is safe to eat up to 12 ounces of crab per week by spreading it out in at least two 6-ounce portions while pregnant.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should not cut seafood out of their diet due to the healthy nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. These nutrients are essential to the growth and development of a baby in the womb. While high-mercury fish, such as shark, tilefish, swordfish and king mackerel, should be avoided due to unsafe levels of mercury and pollutants, domestic crab is in the lowest category for seafood containing mercury, and it is both safe and beneficial when enjoyed in moderation.

Because pollution levels vary from one body of water to the next, it is important to check with the local health department or state authorities to ensure the safety of any self-caught crab before eating, according to BabyCenter. As with all seafood, cooking it thoroughly before serving it reduces the risk of foodborne illness and helps to remove some of its contaminants.