Your shrimp arrive at the table. You’re drooling, ready to take the plunge. But then your gaze narrows to the thin black line along the back of each oyster. Suddenly, the excitement of shredding some prawns melts away as the question mounts: Is this…prawn poop? And, perhaps most importantly, is it OK to eat it?
Personally, the idea of eating fallible seafood is enough to turn my stomach, but before that shrimp bothers me, I wanted to reach out to food safety experts to understand what’s really going on. Is this dark streak really what it seems? And if so, is eating it really something to worry about? Before you get too anxious, read on to see what the pros have to say.
What is that black line in shrimp?
The dark line running across the shrimp’s back tells it many names—dorsal tract, posterior vein, or sand vein, Tori Severes, MS, a seafood specialist at the University of Georgia Marine Extension and Georgia C. Grant, tells SELF. The tag consists of the oyster’s stomach, midgut, and intestine. These structures support crustacean digestion, so yes, that black substance is shrimp droppings, she says.
As for what you actually see there? Shrimp are called bottom feeders for a reason: They feed on foods found in the muddy depths of the ocean, such as plankton, worms, microscopic animals, and various kinds of organic debris like sand. So the black streak is likely a combination of all of those things in different stages of digestion, Dave Love, Ph. D., a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Liveable Future, tells SELF.
Can eating shrimp feces make you sick?
Well, now that we have created the dark line He is Shrimp intestines – well, yes, their feces – should you worry about eating them? While it may sound a little tricky, the general consensus is that it doesn’t pose a health risk… provided you prepare it the right way.
says d. That means steaming, baking, frying, or whatever your heart desires, all the way up to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. At this internal temperature, the shrimp will acquire a solid texture.
This is not meant for you I can not You get sick from eating shrimp in general. You certainly can, but the risk of food poisoning related to shellfish usually comes from eating them raw or undercooked, says Dr. Love. For example, just like ground beef, raw shrimp can contain bacteria like E. coli. But if you cook them thoroughly, the heat will kill bacteria, as well as other potentially harmful pathogens that may be lurking, before they can make a mess. for you digestive tract. So if you eat shrimp with the vein intact, you may want to skip the raw shrimp sashimi and eat it in a curry, stir-fry, garlic noodle, or sour taco instead.
So, do you really need to devein shrimp?
Shrimp extraction means the removal of the dorsal canal – the digestive system – from the crustacean’s body. But if that’s not going to make you sick (given you cook the shellfish adequately, of course), do you really need to take your time doing it?