Can You Eat Raw Clams?

Clams are one of the easiest seafood items to cook. You can steam them, boil them or fry them. But what if you want to eat raw clams?

Yes, you can eat raw clams, but only if they’re fresh and clean. Raw clams that have been sitting out for too long can be contaminated with bacteria like Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. These bacteria can cause serious illnesses such as food poisoning and even death in people with weakened immune systems.

If you want to eat raw clams, make sure they come from a reputable source and are fresh, free from odors, and not slimy. They should also be tightly closed when you buy them because this means they’re alive and haven’t been sitting out for too long.

Is Raw Clams Safe To Eat?

The short answer is yes; raw clams are safe to eat. But they should be cooked thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) to kill any bacteria that may be present in the meat of the clam. This includes soft-shell clams, which generally have thinner shells and a greater risk of contamination than hard-shell clams do.

Why Are Raw Clams Unsafe?

Clams are filter feeders — that means they eat by straining tiny bits of food from seawater or other liquids through their gills or siphons (tubes used for breathing). While this helps them find food more easily, it can also lead to them eating harmful bacteria such as Vibrio bacteria or viruses like hepatitis A virus (HAV). These pathogens can cause serious illness or even death if consumed raw.

Benefits Of Eating Raw Clams

Raw clams have a lot of benefits and are easy to cook. They are also very nutritious, which is why many people prefer to eat them raw.

Raw clam meat is packed with vitamins and nutrients that can keep you healthy and strong. Here are some of the key benefits of eating raw clams:

Vitamin B12: This vitamin helps in keeping your heart, skin, and nervous system healthy. It also helps in converting carbohydrates into energy, thus helping your body function properly. The vitamin B12 content in raw clams is higher than in other types of seafood, making it a great food option for vegans as well as vegetarians who need to boost their intakes of this vitamin.

Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant that protects against free radicals and prevents oxidative damage to cells in the body. It also prevents cancer cells from growing out of control by destroying their DNA or RNA molecules. This mineral is essential for good health because it improves the functioning of many vital organs including the heart, liver, lungs, and thyroid gland. Raw clams contain selenium in high amounts compared to other seafood products such as crabs and mussels which only contain trace amounts of this mineral.

Zinc: Eating raw clams also provides you with zinc which is great for your immune system and for healing wounds. Zinc is an essential mineral that helps to boost your energy levels as well as help you to maintain a healthy reproductive system.

Omega-3 Fats: Raw clams are also rich in omega-3 fats which can help reduce inflammation in your body. These fats also help to lower cholesterol levels by reducing bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing good cholesterol (HDL). This helps to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or stroke later in life.

What Do Raw Clams Taste Like?

There are so many varieties of clams, from littlenecks to cherrystones to butter clams. But what do raw clams taste like?

Raw clams can be eaten in a variety of ways. They’re often served in chowder or stew, but you can also eat them on the half shell.

If you’re not familiar with raw clams, it may seem like a strange thing to eat, but here’s how they taste:

They have a briny flavor, similar to seawater or ocean air. This isn’t surprising since they live in the ocean and spend their days submerged underwater.

Clams have a slightly sweet flavor that is reminiscent of the ocean floor, but there are also some subtle notes of iodine and saltiness that come through as well. The texture might remind you of oysters or scallops because they’re both mollusks and have similar mouthfeels when eaten raw.

How To Eat Raw Clams

Clams are easy to cook, but they can also be eaten raw if you prefer the taste. Below are the steps to preparing and eating the clams raw:

Step 1

Rinse clams under cold running water to remove any dirt or sand.

Step 2

Place clams in a large bowl of fresh water. If you want to eat the clam raw, simply leave it in the water for about 20 minutes. The meat will begin to soften as it absorbs water. If you plan on serving the clams cooked, drain off the water after 20 minutes and discard it.

Step 3

Place clams in boiling water for three minutes if you plan on cooking them; five minutes if you plan on eating them raw. Remove from heat when done and serve immediately with melted butter or lemon wedges if desired.


If you’ve been wondering whether or not you can eat raw clams, the answer is yes. Raw clams are safe to eat so long as they are harvested from a reliable source. They are often served as sashimi or ceviche.