Can You Eat Raw Salmon? Is It Safe To Eat?

Can You Eat Raw Salmon? Raw salmon offers a distinctive culinary experience and a host of possible health benefits. It is typically consumed as sushi or sashimi. Raw salmon is praised as a nutritional powerhouse that supports heart health, brain function, and reduces inflammation.

However, since raw salmon may contain bacteria and parasites that could be harmful to your health, you should carefully consider food safety before consuming the fish.

Can You Eat Raw Salmon?

Generally, if raw salmon has been prepared with premium, fresh fish and handled, stored, and eaten correctly, it can be safe. Eating raw salmon carries a risk of infection from bacteria and parasites. Make sure the fish is from a reliable supplier, marked as sushi-grade, and has been frozen thoroughly to eliminate any possible parasites in order to lower the risks.

To reduce any possible health risks, it is usually safer to cook fish thoroughly if you are unsure about its quality or handling. To ensure that any harmful parasites or bacteria are removed, cook salmon to the recommended temperature of 145°F (63°C).

How do You Eat Raw Salmon?

It’s crucial to abide by the following rules in order to consume raw salmon safely:

  • Buy salmon that is marked as sashimi- or sushi-grade on its packaging. The fish have been handled and processed appropriately to reduce the possibility of parasites. 
  • It is best to purchase from reliable vendors who specialize in offering premium seafood.
  • Freezing salmon in advance can help remove parasites if you intend to cook it raw at home. 
  • To destroy any possible parasites, the FDA advises freezing fish for at least seven days at a temperature of -4°F. It is best to complete this freezing process prior to eating the fish raw.
  • Until you’re ready to use it, keep the raw salmon chilled at or below 40°F in the refrigerator. 
  • To prevent any possible contamination, use clean utensils and surfaces, store the fish in sealed containers, and avoid cross-contamination with other foods. These are good food safety practices.
  • The fish may be spoilt if it looks slimy, smells strongly, or has discolored flesh. If the salmon doesn’t look fresh, it’s best to throw it out.
  • Handle raw salmon only after thoroughly cleaning your hands. To avoid food contamination, keep your raw fish on a different cutting board and use different knives. 
  • Every surface and tool that comes into contact with the raw fish should be cleaned and sanitized.
  • Check the salmon visually for visible signs of abnormalities or parasites before eating it raw. This method can assist in locating any evident problems, even though it is not infallible.

See also: How to Clean Salmon Before Cooking

Is It Safe to Eat Salmon Raw?

Although salmon can be eaten raw, it is advisable to consume it fully cooked for maximum safety. Consuming raw salmon can greatly raise your risk of contracting a foodborne illness. It is up to each person to assess how much risk they are willing to take when eating raw or undercooked food.

Who Can’t Eat Raw Salmon?

Not everyone enjoys salmon raw. There is an increased risk of serious foodborne illness associated with eating raw fish for certain demographics, such as young children, elderly adults, pregnant women, and people with compromised immune systems. If you have been diagnosed with or receiving treatment for HIV, diabetes, liver disease, cancer, or organ transplantation, your immune system may be weakened.


You can find raw salmon in a variety of dishes, such as poke bowls, sashimi platters, and tartares. Even in regions of the world where raw seafood is a staple of cuisine, salmon was not, until recently, a species of fish that was generally consumed raw or unpreserved. This is because raw salmon was unsafe to eat prior to the development of freezers.

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