Can you eat cod raw?

In this short article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat cod raw?” with an in-depth analysis of cod, the nutritional profile of cod, the health benefits along with the risks associated with eating cod and how to properly cook cod. 

Can you eat cod raw? 

No, you can not eat raw cod. Eating cod raw can lead to foodborne illnesses which can result in vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain, among other symptoms. It is recommended to cook cod to an appropriate internal temperature for safe consumption. 

For most healthy people who prefer to eat raw cod, it may only pose a slight health risk but for others, the danger can be severe.

What is cod?

Cod, which belongs to the genus Gadus, is a large marine fish that is a member of the family Gadidae. It is valued for its delicious meat, the oil of its liver, and other products.

It is a voracious migratory fish that generally resides near the bottom, extending from inshore zones to deep waters.  

Cod is a  dark-spotted fish with three dorsal fins, two anal fins, and a chin barbel. It has varied colours including green, grey, brown or black, though it may also be dull to bright red. Its weight ranges from 11.5 kg to 91 kg with a height of more than 1.8 m.

The nutritional profile of Cod 

Cod is low in fat, thus beneficial for people who want to reduce their fat intake and improve their heart health. 

A 4-ounce serving of cod provides:

  • Calories: 93
  • Protein: 20 g
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: Less than 1 g
  • Fibre: Less than 1 g
  • Sugar: Less than 1 g

In addition, it provides a good amount of Vitamin B12, Niacin, Phosphorus, Selenium, Omega-3 fatty acids and Choline.

Cod also contains a good amount of iodine, which is essential for thyroid function. Iodine helps the thyroid to regulate hormones that control the body’s metabolism and cognitive function. 

Consuming sufficient iodine can help get rid of problems such as symptoms of hypothyroidism, goitres, and birth defects.

The health benefits of cod

The essential nutrients present in cod provide significant health benefits when it is cooked properly which are described below:

Prevents anaemia 

Cod is rich in vitamin B12, which is an important element of the body’s nerve and blood cells. Vitamin B12 helps to prevent anaemia by keeping the erythrocytes in good condition and also improves energy levels. 

Lowers cholesterol

Cod is rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids which help to reduce triglycerides, a kind of unhealthy cholesterol.

Controls high blood pressure 

Omega-3 fatty acids also help to decrease blood pressure thus reducing the risk of heart disease. 

Reduce the risk of heart disease

Eating cod at least one time a week decreases the risk and severity of heart disease as well as stroke.

Improves brain function

Eating cod regularly can help maintain a healthy brain and may also lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Risks of eating codfish raw

Eating raw Cod may expose you to certain health risks ranging from mild discomfort to even death.


Eating raw Cod can place you at risk of becoming a host to the tapeworm parasite. When exposed, it can lead to anaemia, pain, and low energy. Therefore, it is recommended to properly store cod by keeping it frozen for a week to kill these parasites.


Eating raw cod can place you at risk of contracting bacteria. Raw cod may contain Vibrio bacteria. 

Exposure to this bacteria can lead to nausea, stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhoea. Those with weak immune systems are especially more sensitive to infection from Vibrio bacteria and may experience deadly illnesses. 


Raw cod may also contain Norovirus, which is a stomach virus that is the leading cause of foodborne illness throughout the world. 

It is highly contagious and can be spread from person to person and also by contact with contaminated foods including raw cod. 

Exposure to the Norovirus causes fever, diarrhoea, stomach pains, nausea, vomiting, and headache. Symptoms typically appear within 24 to 48 hours after ingesting the contaminated cod but can appear as early as 12 hours after being exposed to the virus.

How to safely consume Cod? 

Cooking cod at the proper temperature is the easiest way to prevent any unsafe consequences. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 145℉. You can check the temperature by using a kitchen thermometer.



In this short article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat cod raw?” with an in-depth analysis of cod, the nutritional profile of cod, the health benefits along with the risks associated with eating cod and how to properly cook cod. 


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