Seafood that is cooked and low in mercury, such as crab, lobster or shrimp can be eaten once a week.
Other low mercury seafood includes oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles. All seafood must come from a reliable supplier to avoid toxins and contaminants.
The following table provides recommendations on consumption of seafood during pregnancy.
- Raw seafood, sushi, raw oysters, raw clams and raw mussels.
- Smoked refrigerated seafood.
- Shellfish with broken or opened shell.
- Seafood with a shell that remains closed after cooking.
- Shellfish from a sector that is not open to harvest.
- Seafood cooked to a safe internal temperature of 74oC (165oF). The flesh should become more colorful or more opaque: prawns change from blue to pink; scallops become opaque.
- Oysters, clams, scallops, mussels and cockles; all to be cooked until the shell opens.
- Smoked seafood in a can or any other container that does not require refrigeration before opening.
- Seafood with assured freshness. To make sure it is fresh, shellfish must be sealed shut or sealable when tapped on with a finger before cooking. Regarding crabs and lobsters, make sure the legs move slightly.
It is essential to follow these recommendations to prevent foodborne illnesses, and to avoid the potential effects of mercury contamination and marine biotoxins.