Can You Eat Shrimp Tails


People who love seafood often have shrimp on the top of the list. But, most people do not know what to do with the shrimp tails. Whether they should throw it away or eat it? Even while cooking, they wonder whether shrimp tails should be discarded or can be added to the dish. If you are wondering what to do with shrimp tails, read on to know the facts.

Is it safe to eat shrimp tails?

There are concerns about the shrimp tails getting stuck in the throat causing pain. Research studies have also shown that eating shrimp tail comes with a risk of injury to the throat while swallowing.

Even when the shrimp tail seems to be too small, at times, its sharp ends can get stuck in your throat. It may also cause a tear in the esophagus. Shrimp tail can also cause immense pain and difficulty in swallowing. [1]

If left untreated, the shrimp tail may trigger a foreign body reaction by the immune cells. Some patients need to undergo a surgical procedure to remove the shrimp tail stuck in the throat. These are some reasons why it is best to discard the shrimp tail. [2]

Seafoods are the common food sources of allergy. People who are allergic to prawns and other seafood often have an allergy to shrimp also. Eating shrimp or shrimp tail may not be advisable in such cases as it may result in a severe allergic response.

Patients may develop difficulty in breathing, skin rashes, itching, and swelling of the face and throat due to the allergy to shrimp and shrimp tail. Hence, people who have a history of allergic reaction especially to seafood should avoid eating shrimp tails. [3]

Reasons to eat shrimp tail

There are also a few reasons why you may eat the shrimp tails. They can make your dish look good and also enhance the flavors. Additionally, some people also use the tail as handles to lift or hold the shrimp.

Most people find the shrimp tail incredibly edible. Some people prefer to eat it only when it’s deep-fried. The frying turns it into a kind of “shrimp chip” that is extremely crispy and tempting. The deep-fried shrimp tail is also less likely to get stuck in the esophagus as its crispiness allows you to crunch it and bite it well before swallowing.

You may also try removing the shrimp tail while cooking the main dish with shrimps. You can later deep fry the shrimp tail separately to be served as a side dish. This will add another delicious dish to your menu. It will also ensure the person is aware of the need to bite and chew the shrimp tail well before swallowing (since it will be served as a separate dish).

However, even if you do include shrimp tail in cooking, you will have to be very careful while eating it to ensure it doesn’t get stuck in the throat.