Written by ann Danahy, MS, RDN top top September 13, 2019 — medically reviewed by Adda Bjarnadottir, MS, RDN (Ice)

Salmon has numerous health benefits, making it a popular an option among seafood eaters.

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Dishes made v raw fish are traditional to numerous cultures. Popular examples are sashimi, a Japanese dish v thinly sliced life fish, and also gravlax, a Nordic appetizer of raw salmon cured in salt, sugar, and dill.

If you have an adventurous palate, you might wonder if it’s safe to eat salmon raw.

This post reviews the health comes to of eat raw salmon and describes just how to gain it safely.


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Raw salmon might harbor bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. Some of these take place naturally in the fish’s environment, when others can be a an outcome of improper managing (1, 2).

Cooking salmon to an inner temperature of 145°F (63°C) death bacteria and also parasites, yet if you eat the fish raw, you run the hazard of contracting an infection (1, 2).

Parasites in life salmon

The Food and Drug management (FDA) perform salmon as a known resource of parasites, which room organisms the live top top or in other organisms —including humans (1).

Helminths space worm-like parasites similar to tapeworms or roundworms. They’re typical in finfish choose salmon (2).

Helminths or the Japanese large tapeworm Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense can live in your little intestine whereby they can grow to an ext than 39 feet (12 meters) lengthy (3).

These and also other varieties of tapeworms have been discovered in wild salmon native Alaska and Japan — and also in the cradle tracts of world who have consumed raw salmon native those areas (3, 4).

Symptoms the a helminth infection encompass weight loss, abdominal muscle pain, diarrhea, and also in some cases anemia. The said, many world experience no symptom (3).

Bacterial and viral epidemic from life salmon

Like all varieties of seafood, salmon deserve to be exposed to bacterial or famous contamination, which can reason mild come serious illness when girlfriend eat the uncooked fish.

Some types of bacteria or viruses that may be current in raw salmon include: (1, 2)

SalmonellaShigellaVibrioClostridium botulinumStaphylococcus aureusListeria monocytogenesEscherichia coliHepatitis ANorovirus

Most situations of epidemic from eating seafood space a result of improper taking care of or storage, or of harvesting seafood from water contaminated by human waste (1, 2).

Raw salmon may likewise contain ecological contaminants. Both farmed and wild salmon may harbor trace quantities of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and also heavy metals (5, 6, 7).

POPs room toxic chemicals consisting of pesticides, commercial manufacturing chemicals, and flame retardants, i m sorry accumulate in the food chain due to the fact that they’re stored in the fatty organization of animals and also fish (8).

Human exposure come POPs is associated with an enhanced risk of cancer, bear defects, and endocrine, immune, and reproductive disorders (8).

Researchers sampled 10 types of fish sourced at a industry in Spain and also found the salmon had the highest levels the a specific kind of fire retardant. However, the level detected to be still within safe borders (9).

Cooking salmon reduces the level of many POPs. One study discovered that cooking salmon had actually an typical of 26% lower levels that POPs 보다 raw salmon (10)

Summary

Raw salmon might contain parasites, bacteria, or various other pathogens the can reason infections. Salmon is additionally a source of environmental contaminants.


If you pick to eat life salmon, make certain it has actually been formerly blast-frozen come -31°F (-35°C), which kills any kind of parasites in the salmon.

Still, blast-freezing does not kill every pathogens. An additional thing to keep in psychic is that most residence freezers don’t get this cold (1, 11).

When buying raw salmon or notified dishes the contain it, girlfriend should additionally look it end carefully.

Properly frozen and thawed salmon looks firm and moist with no bruising, discoloration, or off-odor (2).

If you’re prepare raw salmon in your own kitchen, make certain your surfaces, knives, and also serving utensils space clean and keep her salmon refrigerated until just prior to serving to avoid bacterial contamination (1, 2, 11).

If you’re eat raw salmon or any kind of other kind of fish and also your mouth or neck feels tingly, it might be led to by a live parasite relocating in her mouth. Spit it the end or sneeze it up (12).

Summary

Raw salmon must be blast-frozen to kill parasites and also prevent the development of pathogens. Always check life salmon before eating it come make sure it looks and also smells fresh.


Some human being are at a greater risk the contracting a significant foodborne infection and also should never ever eat life salmon or other types of life seafood. These world include (11):

pregnant womenchildrenolder adultsanyone v a dilute immune system, such together those through cancer, liver disease, HIV/AIDS, organ transplants, or diabetes

In people who have a jeopardized immune system, foodborne disease can an outcome in serious symptoms, hospitalization, or even death (11).

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Summary

If girlfriend have condition or health problem that compromises your immune system, prevent raw salmon, together it presents a danger of a severe and also even life-threatening foodborne infection.