Sushi Tips: Can You Eat Raw Salmon From The Grocery?

Sushi Tips: Can You Eat Raw Salmon From The Grocery

Sushi has been gaining its popularity worldwide. Many people have been eating raw salmon from the grocery. However, can you do it? Would there be any threat to your health? Let’s find out the answers here.

You can eat raw salmon from the grocery store, but only if you find on its packaging the phrase “safe for raw, sushi, or sashimi consumption.” If the package doesn’t say something like, then it is better to look for flash frozen or similar wording.

In various types of Japanese foods, salmon is such a common fish to eat. Not only in Japan but worldwide. However, you have to make sure that it is safe for consumption. It means that the salmon needs to be from a high-quality farm. This way, you can get the best quality to make your sushi dishes at home. Let us learn more about eating raw salmon from the grocery.

When Can You Eat Raw Salmon?

You might wonder if it is safe to eat uncooked salmon. You can eat raw salmon if it has “flash frozen” in its packaging. It kills any parasites in the fish by freezing the salmon for twenty-four or more hours. Hence, it lowers the risk that you will get worms. Note that farmed salmon is safe for consumption because these fish are less likely to consume infected prey that they can usually get from dirty bodies of water. 

On the other hand, if salmon eat infected prey, the salmon will get infected too. If this is the case, you should not eat it. The problem is that it is hard to determine whether the species ate any infected prey or not. It is better if you can buy salmon raised on farms. They are fed until they are full so that they grow as fast as possible.

Can You Get Sick Eating Raw Salmon?

You can get sick by eating infected or spoiled raw salmon. The majority of wild fish carry what are known as nematode worms. If you buy old and spoiled salmon, you will consume bacteria that can make you sick. As a result, you will be at risk of stomach intoxication, diarrhea, and vomiting. So, if that fish smells bad, throw it away. Do not ingest it. If you’re unfortunate enough to catch the disease and get worms, just be warned that your stomach lining will burrow into these kinds of worms.

Undercooked Salmon Symptoms

You will get sick if the salmon you prepare is undercooked, but only if the fish is not raised on the farm or if it is poisoned before cooking. It implies that undercooking rotten fish increases the risk of worms or other spoiled fish problems described above.

What Happens If You Eat Raw Salmon?

Salmon is identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a recognized source of parasites, including humans, that live on or in other species. Helminths are parasites similar to tapeworms or roundworms that are popular in salmon-like finfish. In your small intestine, where they can grow to more than 39 feet (12 meters ) in length, Helminths can live and even produce more.

Symptoms of a helminth infection include loss of weight, pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, and anemia in some cases. However, there are some people that experience no symptoms. Salmon can be exposed to bacterial or viral infection, like other forms of seafood, which can cause mild to severe illness when you eat uncooked fish. The following are some forms of bacteria or viruses that may be present in raw salmon.

  • Salmonella
  • Shigella
  • Vibrio
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Escherichia coli
  • Hepatitis A
  • Norovirus

Most seafood infections arise from unsafe handling or storage, or from processing seafood from water polluted by human waste. Raw salmon can also contain toxins from the atmosphere. Persistent organic contaminants (POPs) and heavy metals can harbor trace amounts of farmed and wild salmon. POPs are poisonous substances that accumulate in the food chain because they are contained in animals and fish’s fatty tissue, including pesticides, synthetic processing chemicals, and flame retardants.

An increased risk of cancer, congenital disabilities, and endocrine, immune, and reproductive disorders is associated with human exposure to POPs. Researchers sampled ten fish species from a market in Spain and found that salmon produced the highest flame retardants. Fortunately, the levels of several POPs are decreased by cooking salmon. One study found that, on average, cooked salmon had 26% lower levels of POPs than raw salmon.

How Do You Know If Salmon Is Safe To Eat Raw?

The grade of both sushi and sashimi on its packaging means that the fish is OK to eat the raw meat. There are primarily three criteria to consider for being sushi or sashimi grade.

  • Type of fish
  • Freshness
  • Frozen or cured

Nearly all the cod is unsuitable, fresh or frozen, for raw consumption. It is because parasites and bacteria come with most of the cod. It does not destroy all the bacteria and germs, but freezing can eliminate most of the parasites. New frozen cod is also not ideal for raw consumption. Look for the following if you go to the supermarket to decide if the raw salmon is OK for eating.

  1. If you see the “For raw consumption,” or “Sashimi Salmon,” on its packaging.
  2. If frozen beforehand and the freshness looks right.
  3. If the raw salmon smells good and no sign of being spoiled.

There are too many elements to consider, and decide if a specific fish is appropriate for raw consumption takes knowledge of looking at a fish. Many fishmongers and sushi chefs can tell a fish’s freshness by looking at it, called “Me-Kiki,” and it takes years to look and sometimes taste the fish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is sushi raw? Sushi has gained worldwide prominence, to the extent that many people consume raw salmon from the grocery store. You can consume raw salmon from the grocery store, but only if the term “healthy for raw, sushi, or sashimi consumption” is included in its packaging. If the packet does not say anything like that, it is best to search for a frozen flash or similar wording.

Is undercooked salmon dangerous?

The possibility of eating undercooked salmon does not exist. There shouldn’t be an issue with undercooked salmon if you can consume fresh salmon and cooked salmon. The danger comes after a period in which the fish starts to spoil. You will prolong the salmon’s life if you cook it properly, and it will take longer for it to spoil.

Can I get food poisoning from salmon?

Infections of parasites from eating inadequately cooked fish are relatively rare and preventable. Anisakiasis roundworm infection (‘the sushi worm’) is acquired by consuming raw fish, especially cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain mild fever are typical symptoms.

Does curing salmon kill bacteria?

In particular, salmon should be purchased frozen-salmon previously is anadromous, living both in salt and freshwater, and can catch worms that other ocean fish do not. At the same time, curing can destroy bacteria; these parasites can only be destroyed by proper freezing. Keep the fish refrigerated, even after it is healed at all times.


Although we have covered quite a bit of data on how you could catch a foodborne disease and probably get worms yourself, it is generally healthy to eat raw fish from a grocer. Now you know what to look for in raw salmon packets. For starters, see if you can identify if the fish was raised on the farm or whether it was flash-frozen and healthy for meals in sushi-style. Do your due diligence and make sure you have a pleasurable experience making sushi, sashimi, or other foods for yourself. Finally, check out these 7 different sushi recipes around the globe.

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