Shrimp are very similar to prawns in appearance. They are high in demand as they taste delicious and are one of the most favorite food item in the parties and pubs. US imports approximately $3 million worth shrimp every year from various countries. But do you know, shrimp is one of the most common causes of food poisoning in human beings. It is caused either when they are affected by some micro-organisms or when they have a high content of chemicals in their body.
Shrimp are found in both freshwater as well as sea water. Instead of catching them from the sea and investing a lot in fishing, there are many companies which are involved in cultivating shrimp in the man-made ponds. These ponds have a mixture of ocean/sea water and freshwater. To save shrimp from the attack of bacteria and other micro organisms, these ponds are chemically treated with antibiotics and toxic chemicals. As shrimp have chemical resistant powers they can survive in such conditions, but intake of these shrimp are no doubt harmful for human beings. Excess growth of shrimp in the same pound can also be dangerous as the pound gets contaminated because of shrimp waste.
Previously Taiwan was the largest producer of shrimp but in the year 1988 they lost 75% of their harvest due to a virus named Monodon bacu-lovirus. This shows the disadvantage of cultivating lots of shrimp in a single pond as one virus lead to a great loss. The regular chemical spray done to kill the bacteria may sometimes result in antibiotic resistant bacterial food poisoning. These bacteria are difficult to kill and may be very hazardous for life. Even the vegetables grown around these ponds may be poisonous.
Causes of Food Poisoning from Shrimp
Shrimp are no doubt very famous seafood, but sometimes you need to be careful before eating it. Following are some of the reasons behind the food poisoning cause by shrimp.
- Stale or contaminated shrimp which are usually exported from other countries.
- Tinted and packed shrimp which do not have expiry date on it.
- Ill shrimp which are affected by bacteria or any other microorganism.
- Chemicals content in their body.
Symptoms of food poisoning can be observed half an hour to several days after the consumption of shrimp. It usually depends upon the resistance power of every individual. Following are some of the food poisoning signs.
- Stomach ache
- Weakness in the muscles.
- Numbness in arms, legs, lips and tongue
- Blood in the stool
- Blurred or double vision
- Difficulty in swallowing
As soon as the person finds out that he/she has got food poisoning they should contact the doctor immediately. Keep the person hydrated by giving water or any other liquid regularly. This will reduce nausea, weakness and vomiting to some extent. The doctor may give you injections to control vomiting and stomach ache. You need to have light food for few days and the most appropriate diet at this time is BRAT diet (Banana, rice, applesauce, and toast).
You need to take some precautions in order to keep yourself away from the risk of food poisoning. Always check the expiry date before buying shrimp and do not store it for a long time in the refrigerator. Never eat uncooked shrimp. Cook them properly at an appropriate temperature and avoid eating stale food. Enjoy fresh and tasty shrimp with proper precautions.