You can cook food in many ways. This includes on the stove, grill, over firewood, a slow cooker, etc.
However, sometimes you do not always cook food. All you have to do is take it out of the package, cut it up, grab some condiments, and it’s ready to eat!
Believe it or not, this can apply to some meat and vegetables. One food some people may be tempted to eat raw is salmon.
In this article, we will break down if you can eat raw salmon, what are the risks, and how to make it safe if you do eat it raw.
Is It Possible To Eat Raw Salmon?
You may already know the answer to this, given that salmon is an extremely popular dish in sushi, but for those that do not know, the answer is yes.
You can eat salmon raw. Sushi, a very popular food in Japan and all over the world, has an ingredient that includes raw fish.
Other foods that include raw salmon are sashimi (also a Japanese food) as well as gravlax, which is a Nordic food that includes raw salmon covered in salt, sugar, and dill.
Despite this, some risks do come with eating raw salmon because when it comes down to it, the meat is raw.
Some meat is more dangerous than others to eat while raw, like pork and chicken.
These are foods you should never, ever eat raw, but even for those that have less risk, you should always proceed with caution.
Hey, better to be safe than sorry.
What Are the Risks of Eating Raw Salmon?
Salmon can be eaten raw, but there are still risks that come with eating this meat, even if it is a minimal risk. The fish can contain bacteria and parasites.
It’s these things that can cause you to get sick and wreak havoc on your body.
Here are the following problems that can arise from eating raw salmon:
- Some parasites that could be found lurking in raw salmon are helminths. Think of these as cousins to the tape or roundworm. If you manage to contract this, you are in for some trouble because it lives in your small intestine and can grow very long. How long? Well, think 39 feet is a kind of long.
- There is also a string of bacteria and viruses that salmon can harbor. Some of the more well-known ones are Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, E-coli, botulism, and Staph infection.
- Shigella, Vibrio, and Listeria can also occur.
Why does this happen? Well, usually, it is because the seafood has not been handled properly or came from a contaminated source.
Fear not, food lovers, because there are ways that you can help make the raw salmon you are eating as safe as it can be.
This will help lower your risk substantially.
How To Make Sure Your Salmon Is Safe
There are ways you can make the raw salmon you are going to eat as safe as it can be.
This is not going to eliminate the risk, of course. Nothing ever is a hundred percent avoidable.
We have listed some methods below that you can follow, which will help make sure your salmon is on the safe side.
- Make sure to wash your hands, utensils, and everything else involved in the preparation process. This reason might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people can forget to do this.
- Always inspect your fish. The best way to tell if it’s bad is by smell. Trust us, you will know if the fish smells bad. It’s not hard to miss.
- Freeze the fish until you decide to eat it. Also, make sure you store it properly in general. Proper storage is crucial for keeping the fish safe.
- Buy your fish from retailers that can be trusted.
If you follow all of these methods or suggestions, then you are well on your way to avoiding becoming sick from raw salmon.
Again, you can still get sick, but hey, a 2 percent risk, when compared to, say, a 10 percent risk, is much better!
Can You Eat Undercooked Salmon?
So, you know by this point in the article that you can eat raw salmon, and it’s a given that you can eat cooked salmon.
I mean, it’s cooked. It can’t get much safer than that! However, have you ever wondered if you can eat salmon that is in between or undercooked?
No, not under no circumstances do you ever want to eat salmon that ends up being undercooked.
The reason for this can be found in science. Raw salmon is safe to eat (for the most part) because a lot of bacteria are unable to survive.
On the flip side, cooked salmon is too hot to be able to host any of the bacteria as well.
The undercooked salmon is unsafe in between. Its temperature is between the danger zone, a place where bacteria and viruses can live.
To make sure you do not eat any undercooked salmon, you need to do one of two things.
If cooking it, make sure it is completely cooked through. For raw salmon, you need to just keep it safely stored until you decide to eat it.
Avoiding undercooked salmon is a must, and it can easily be done if you just follow proper food preparation, cooking, and storage.
And now it looks like we have to call it a wrap, folks! Raw salmon does have its risks, as all food does, but it is very possible to eat it.
By following some safety precautions, you can make sure that your risk is lowered to the most minuscule number.
Still, it does pose a risk, so just always be aware of this. Not as much of a risk as undercooked salmon, of course.
So, if you feel like having some raw salmon, go on and have some. You’ll be safe when consuming it. For the most part, anyway.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Can You Eat Raw Lobster?
- Can You Eat Raw Octopus?
- Can You Eat Raw Scallops?
- Can You Eat Raw Shrimp?
- Can You Eat Raw Crab?
- Can You Eat Raw Tuna?
- Can You Eat Raw Fish?
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.