Lobster, like most seafood and meat, can pose a potential health risk when it is not cooked to a safe temperature. According to the Food and Drug Administration, lobster should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit before it is consumed. When a lobster is fully cooked it has a bright red shell and the meat is completely white.
When lobster is not cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, consumers are at risk of developing a bacterial infection that can cause fever, vomiting, and diarrhea. Two common types of bacteria found in lobster are Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Vibrio vulnificus. Symptoms from this infection typically develop within 24 hours of eating undercooked lobster. In some cases bacterial infections like this can be serious, even fatal. This is particularly true for individuals with compromised immune systems and pregnant women.
When lobster is undercooked, consumers also risk developing a parasitic infection. The two most common types include roundworms and tapeworms. These infections can cause many health complications including nutritional deficiency and weight loss. Symptoms of a parasitic infection may include anemia, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, bloating, gas, and anal itching.
Hepatitis infection can also be transmitted through consumption of undercooked shellfish like lobster. Hepatitis can cause liver damage, and you can be infected with it for years before becoming diagnosed with it. People are vaccinated for some, but not all, forms of hepatitis during childhood.
Certain types of algae that build up in the tissue of lobster and other shellfish can be toxic to humans. When you consume lobster that has toxic levels of these algae you can become sick as a result. Illness from toxic algae can cause fever, diarrhea, vomiting, and neurological complications.