Can you eat salmon without cooking it?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat salmon without cooking it?” We will as well discuss some guidelines to follow when preparing raw salmon for consumption. We will also briefly talk about some vulnerable groups of people that should not eat raw salmon.

Can you eat salmon without cooking it?

Sure, you can eat raw salmon without cooking it. Raw salmon can be consumed, you just need to ensure that it has been stored and prepared the correct way to eliminate any risks of food poisoning. 

There are many dishes such as sashimi ang gravlax that use salmon as the key ingredient. In Hawaii they make a salad with raw salmon which is known as poké, which also has some veggies, rice and fruits.

 In Singapore they also have a similar salad sidh called yu sheng. Although raw salmon should not be for everyone, there are some groups of people who should steer clear of consuming raw salmon because of the impact it can have on their health. 

What are some guidelines to follow preparing raw salmon for consumption?

When selecting your salmon ensure it is 100% fresh or properly frozen

When you are buying salmon from a store or fish market, make sure that the salmon is 100% fresh or has been refrigerated for at least 40°F or is on ice. Be keen on checking for any signs of spoilage on the salmon; this can include dull-looking fish with gray skin and no clear white lines. 

If the flesh is also not bouncy when you touch it, it’s also a spoilage sign. If the salmon also has a very fishy smell that’s a sign of spoilage. Ensure that your salmon is firm and shiny in appearance and always buy your salmon from licensed sellers.

Store and prepare the fish properly before raw consumption

It is very important to properly store the salmon so that it does not promote the growth of any pathogenic bacteria and is safe to consume. 

When you buy the salmon fish, immediately freeze it. Salmon fish can stay for about 2 hours at most when out of cold water and freezer without harboring any bacteria. 

Fresh salmon should be refrigerated for upto 2 days and make sure you keep it at the coolest part of your refrigerator where the temperatures are at around 30 degrees Fahrenheit. Ensure that you store your fish in an airtight container or it is well wrapped so as to preserve its freshness. 

Filet the salmon yourself if you buy the entire fish.

If you are not buying  sashimi-grade salmon filets, it’s much simpler to purchase a whole salmon so that you can filet it at home. This comes in handy because it helps you to tell which one is a fresher salmon and you can be able to spot any signs of spoilage which is harder to do with a filet. 

Check the salmon for worms and other parasites.

If you are consuming raw salmon, it is critical that you carefully check the fish for any presence of worms before preparing your raw meal. 

This is also applicable if you buy sashimi-grade salmon filets, whole salmon, or fresh salmon steaks. This is a very critical food safety step that assists with reducing the risk of food borne infections.

Make sure your tools are properly disinfected.

Always use clean tools that have been properly cleaned and disinfected. There can be presence of bacteria in the gut of the salmon even if that is not the case on the outside from your observations. Cleaning and sanitizing your tools ensures that cross contamination does not take place.

Dress up the raw salmon for a fulfilling meal.

There are so many possibilities for raw salmon and these greatly depend on your palate and preferences. You can make use of seasonings to make your salmon taste great, examples of the seasonings are salt and pepper, dried oregano, paprika and garlic powder.

Who should not eat raw salmon?

Raw salmon can potentially cause problems to some vulnerable groups of people and it is best if they first consult a doctor before consuming raw salmon or any other raw fish for that matter. This is because of the risks of ingesting pathogenic bacteria which can result in food poisoning. Some of the vulnerable groups are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children
  • The elderly especially those above age 65.
  • Immunocompromised persons
  • People who are receiving treatment for cancer
  • People with liver disease
  • People who are HIV positive and carry the virus
  • People with a transplanted organ
  • People who are living with diabetes

Other FAQs about Salmon that you may be interested in.

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In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat salmon without cooking it?” We have as well discussed some guidelines to follow when preparing raw salmon for consumption. We have also briefly talked about some vulnerable groups of people that should not eat raw salmon.