Can you get sick from eating undercooked salmon?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you get sick from eating undercooked salmon?”. Moreover, we will discuss whether undercooked salmon is good for health or not, what makes raw salmon contaminated? How to differentiate undercooked salmon from cooked salmon? and how to fix undercooked salmon? 

Can you get sick from eating undercooked salmon?

Yes, you can get sick from eating undercooked salmon. In fact, undercooked salmon is not a healthy option to eat. A person who consumes undercooked salmon is at a higher risk of developing a foodborne illness.

Drawbacks of eating undercooked salmon 

  • Foodborne illness 

Numerous parasites and bacteria are present in fish’s natural environment including Vibrio species, E.coli, Hepatitis A virus, Clostridium Botulinum, Salmonella, and Norovirus. If consumed, these microorganisms may lead to foodborne illnesses. 

These microorganisms will only be killed if we cook the salmon at a higher temperature i.e., 63 degrees centigrade. Below this temperature bacteria and parasites are not killed.

  • Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) 

Apart from bacteria and parasites, raw salmon also contain many pollutants. Salmon take Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) from their environment. 

After a high intake of these pollutants, we become susceptible to many chronic diseases like cancer, immune, endocrine, reproductive disorders and birth defects.

In addition, undercooked salmon contains higher amounts of mercury, which is a toxic heavy metal, as compared to fully cooked salmon. 

Another health risk associated with the consumption of undercooked salmon is that it can lead to different types of illnesses including ciguatera and scombroid poisoning and anisakiasis. There are some visible symptoms of these illnesses like nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps etc.

People who are at risk of eating undercooked salmon

Although raw salmon is detrimental to everyone’s health. But some people are more susceptible to it as compared to others. Like pregnant women, children, and old people are more prone to foodborne illness caused by undercooked salmon.

How to fix undercooked salmon? 

It is possible to fix undercooked salmon. The best method is to reheat it slowly, keeping the temperature low. The goal should be to set its internal temperature at 125℉ to 130℉. We must make sure that the salmon fillet does not dry out.

Before reheating salmon a precautionary measure must be kept in mind that the microwave should never be used to reheat salmon. The reason behind this is because the microwave severely dries out the fillet. 

Ways to consume salmon safely 

To reduce the risk of foodborne illness and for the safe consumption of salmon, the following measures can be taken: 

  • If raw salmon is blast frozen at -35 degrees centigrade, parasites can be killed.
  • Hygienic conditions are very crucial in order to avoid any bacteria and parasites. Make sure that salmon is refrigerated just before serving.
  • Before eating make sure that salmon is fresh.

Benefits of eating undercooked salmon

Although there are many drawbacks to eating undercooked salmon. But it is enriched with beneficial nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and vitamin B12, other vitamins and minerals, that have various health benefits too. Some of the health benefits of eating salmon are listed below:

  •  Healthy omega-3 fatty acids

Undercooked salmon has higher amounts of healthy omega-3 fatty acids as compared to fully cooked salmon. That is because when we fry the fish then the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids is gradually decreased. 

Some other nutritional quality factors are also affected when salmon is fully cooked.

  • Weight loss

By eating raw salmon, the process of weight loss is enhanced as it keeps us full for longer.

  • Enhancement of bone health:

Raw salmon helps to improve bone health by providing Vitamin D which is very good for bones.

  • Decreases the risk of depression

Raw salmon contains enough nutrients to keep our immune system strong which in turn reduces anxiety. Omega-3 fatty acids which are present in raw salmon are very effective to reduce the level of depression and anxiety. 

  • Prevention of cell damage

Raw salmon contains enough antioxidants that promote tissue repair and prevents cell damage. Healthy cells are mandatory in the fight against radicals.

Moreover, the consumption of raw salmon also improves brain function.

Perception of food authorities towards undercooked salmon

Different food authorities have different perceptions toward undercooked salmon. Like some food authorities advertise undercooked salmon by keeping in view its health benefits.

But some food authorities like “The Food and Agriculture Organization” of the United State have declared that eating raw salmon is injurious to health. Some food safety experts have also claimed that Group B Streptococcus has been found in many regions.

Food safety officials in New Zealand have again warned people not to eat raw mussels because of a risk of Vibrio infection.  


In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you get sick from eating undercooked salmon?”. Moreover, we have discussed whether undercooked salmon is good for health or not, what makes raw salmon contaminated? and how to fix undercooked salmon?.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!