Can You Eat Calamari When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

Many pregnant women are curious about what they can and cannot eat. This is particularly true of seafood. One type of seafood that often sparks confusion is calamari. Can you eat calamari when pregnant? Let’s take a closer look at the answer to this question.

Can you eat calamari when pregnant?

Yes, in moderation. Calamari is a safe and healthy choice for pregnant women when appropriately cooked. To ensure that the calamari you consume is safe to eat, ensure that it is cooked thoroughly until it is opaque and springy to the touch. If purchasing pre-cooked frozen calamari, reheat it until it is hot. Additionally, you should ensure that the calamari comes from a reputable source and is fresh.

Moderation means consuming two to three servings of seafood per week, which should include no more than 12 ounces (340 grams) of cooked calamari.

Is fried calamari high in mercury?

No, fried calamari is not high in mercury. The levels of mercury present in fried calamari are very low and considered safe to eat for pregnant women. Usually, calamari is not exposed to high levels of mercury since it does not live in deep ocean water where the highest levels of mercury are typically found. However, it’s essential to remember that other types of seafood can contain higher levels of mercury, and pregnant women should avoid such.

How to cook calamari for pregnant women?

Calamari should be cooked thoroughly to ensure that it is safe for consumption. You can fry, bake, grill, or sauté to cook calamari. Only use cooking oils with high smoke points, like canola oil, for frying calamari. Make sure the internal temperature of the calamari reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. (63 degrees Celsius). When baking, grilling, or sautéing calamari, the internal temperature should reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 degrees Celsius).

To ensure that the calamari is cooked correctly and safely for consumption, use a digital food thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is correct.

Can you eat mussels and calamari when pregnant?

Yes, as they are adequately cooked, mussels and calamari are safe to eat when pregnant. In addition, you should only consume two to three servings of seafood per week of cooked calamari and mussels. It’s essential to ensure that the seafood you consume comes from a reputable source and is fresh.

It is important to note that mussels and other shellfish may contain more mercury than squid or octopus, so it is best to speak with your doctor before consuming these seafood varieties while pregnant.


In conclusion, pregnant women can eat calamari when cooked correctly and in moderation. Mussels and other shellfish are also safe to consume if cooked properly. However, it is essential to speak with your doctor before consuming any seafood while pregnant to ensure it is safe for consumption. It’s also necessary to consume seafood in moderation and ensure that it comes from a reputable source. By following these tips, pregnant women can safely enjoy calamari and other types of seafood during pregnancy.