Can you get sick from eating too much salmon?

In this short article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating too much salmon?”. Moreover, we will discuss the side effects of eating salmon, the bacterial species present in salmon and the health benefits of eating salmon.

Can you get sick from eating too much salmon?

Yes, you can get sick from eating too much salmon. Salmon can be consumed either in raw form or in cooked form. But raw salmon can make a person sick as it can have bacteria and other pathogens. These microorganisms have a bad effect on a person’s health and can make them sick. 

Although, salmon is a type of fish that has many health benefits. It plays an important role in maintaining our heart health and also helps to maintain proper growth in children. But if not properly cooked and consumed in excessive amounts can lead to adverse effects due to the presence of microorganisms.

The risk of side effects of consuming salmon can be reduced by cooking them on heat which will kill pathogens. 

Health benefits of Salmon:

Salmon is considered a superfood that has good taste and can be consumed in various ways. Some of the health benefits of salmon are as follows:

Omega-3 fatty acids:

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for the normal functioning of the body and salmon is rich in these fatty acids. These are the good fatty acids that can help the body maintain the following functions:

  • They help in the improvement of brain function.
  • They can reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart attack and heart arrhythmia.
  • These fatty acids help in reducing the risk of cardiac arrest and high blood pressure. 
  • There is an improvement in cell functioning because of the proper amount of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids are also involved in controlling inflammatory responses of the body, protecting joints and also involved in elevating mood.


Protein is required to maintain normal functioning of the body for instance, in building muscles, bones and cartilage. Salmon contains a great number of essential proteins that helps the body in maintaining muscle mass, reducing weight and regulating metabolic rate. Protein also helps in maintaining healthy bone density.


Antioxidants are molecules that are important for immunity and they can also reduce the risk of cancer. There are various varieties of salmon which contain antioxidants. These varieties are pinkish-orange in colour which is due to the presence of compound astaxanthin. 

Astaxanthin is an antioxidant that protects the body from different neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and other inflammatory diseases.

Risk of eating salmon:

Various risks are associated with eating salmon, particularly if it is being consumed in excess, that too in raw form. Some of the risks associated with salmon are described below:

Food poisoning:

Food poisoning is a gastrointestinal disorder that can occur when a pathogen enters the body and disturbs the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract. Two common types of food poisoning are known, that can make people sick when they eat salmon.

  1. Ciguatera Poisoning
  2. Scombroid poisoning

Ciguatera poisoning:

Ciguatera poisoning is the type of food poisoning that is accompanied by abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Sometimes these symptoms can also progress to headache, muscle aches and irritation or numbness of the skin.

Scombroid poisoning:

The symptoms of scombroid food poisoning appear twenty to thirty minutes after eating salmon containing the pathogen. These include flushing or redness of the face, nausea, vomiting, hives and abdominal pain.

The symptoms of scombroid poisoning are identical to allergic reactions but this does not necessarily mean that the person having scombroid poisoning is allergic to fish. 


Various parasites are present in raw fish or sushi fish. These parasites can be destroyed by heating but there is no proper regulation in restaurants so there is a risk of getting ill after eating it.


One of the risks of eating salmon is the presence of bacteria which can be the reason for sickness. Two types of bacteria are associated with salmon related diseases. 

The person eating salmon can get infected by Salmonella and Vibrio vulnificus. Salmonella being more common than Vibrio vulnificus.

Special concerns:

Not all people get infected by eating salmon. A specific group of people for which salmon is not safe to consume in any case include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Young children
  • People of older age
  • Those people who have a weak immune system or those who are taking immune-suppressing medications

Guidelines to prevent infection caused by salmon

The following measures can be taken for the safe consumption of salmon: 

  • While buying fish make sure that salmon is refrigerated at 40oF. This will reduce the risk of having parasites.
  • At home, store salmon in the refrigerator for up to two days in an airtight container.


In this article, we have answered the question “Can you get sick from eating too much salmon?”, the health benefits of salmon, the risks associated with eating salmon and the guidelines for buying and storing salmon.


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