Can Mussels be eaten raw?

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Mussels are a very interesting seafood product that you may have come across at the supermarket. Perhaps you may have even eaten Mussels with pasta or as part of a stew dish. That being said, have you ever wondered if Mussels can be eaten raw? Would you like to know? Join me as we go on this fascinating journey together.

Can you eat Mussels without cooking them?

First off let us address the question of whether or not Mussels are edible without cooking them. According to food safety authorities such as the Food Safety Authority of New Zealand, it is recommended that you cook Mussels before eating them. This is due to the fact that they could be carrying bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus that can cause illnesses. As such it is best to avoid eating raw Mussels. Types of people who should especially avoid eating raw mussels include those with vulnerable immune systems, the elderly and pregnant women.

What can happen if you eat raw Mussels?

As mentioned earlier, raw Mussels can be carriers of bacteria that can cause illnesses. Some examples of  health issues that can be caused by the bacteria raw Mussels carry include food poisoning, fever, nausea and diarrhea that can be caused by the marine bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

If it is better to cook Mussels how do I know when they are ready to eat?

We have now understood why Mussels need to be cooked. Yet a question may arise about how you can know when Mussels are cooked and ready to eat. In general it is said that Mussels should be cooked at temperatures of 65 degrees Celsius/149 degrees Fahrenheit and above. This is to ensure that any bacteria that your Mussels may be carrying are killed off. 

Another way to tell if your Mussels have been cooked is when their shells open up.


What we have learnt
1. It is recommended to avoid eating raw Mussels.
2. Raw mussels can carry bacteria such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus that can cause health problems such as fever, nausea and food poisoning.
3. We also learnt about the temperatures to cook Mussels at and how to identify that they are cooked.

In Hindsight

Over the course of our exploration of this question, we have come to understand why it is important to avoid eating raw Mussels due to the health risks that come with them. We also touched a little bit on how to cook Mussels to ensure that any bacteria within them is removed. Furthermore, we talked about how to physically identify cooked Mussels. All in all, the key takeaway from our journey together is this: Be meticulous when it comes to eating food safely. An important part of this is being aware of whether or not it is safe to eat certain kinds of food items (in this case Mussels) raw as well as how to cook them so as to ensure that they are safe to be eaten. With that said, take care and always be vigilant when it comes to your food.

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