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Sushi Grade Salmon and Parasites

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have conflicting info on sushi grade salmon. I know that some of it is odorless smoked while others that are free of the dark fatty meat and very fresh of course can be used as sushi grade. Are parasites prevelant in wild salmon that usually makes them not a candidate for sushi grade? :confused: :D
Lorraine
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post #2 of 17
Where do you think the word "salmonella" comes from? :eek:

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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Kokopuffs,thank you for trying to answer this question. But, I know the very basic information of where salmonella comes from. That still doesn't answer my question of is wild salmon ever considered sushi grade? I have had two conflicting professional opinions on this. One was from a fish monger at a local store.She said because of the parasites that wild salmon should not be used for that purpose. The other one came from a man who does the procruement for a local wholesale fish house that our school(a culinary school for professional students) deals with for my Asian cuisine classes. He said that salmon was one fish that at least at his place comes in fresh and clean of parasites and you can use the wild ones for sushi grade. Since the fish monger gets her fish from the fish house, I did not know who to believe. Just like some other fish that are not farmed are considered sushi grade, is wild salmon?
I hope that explains the question and makes it more clear.
Thanks
Lorraine
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post #4 of 17
To my knowledge, salt and therefore salt water is deadly to bacteria. Think of osmosis: salt attracts water and therefore dehydrates bacteria (and you and me). Remember salted pork products (bacon) from a century and a half ago? That's why meat products were and some still are salted. My assumption is that wild salmon, like live "sushi seafood", inhabits salt water and must be eaten within 24 hours of capture. Their saline flesh will kill any bacteria due to osmosis resulting in bacterial dehydration for up to one day. :D

[ April 04, 2001: Message edited by: kokopuffs ]

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quite possibly. That might explain why most fresh water fish is not used as sushi or sashimi. Salmon though is an ocean fish that actually returns to fresh water to spawn.I think many times wild salmon is caught in fresh water streams and not in the ocean.
Maybe that is what prompted the idea that wild salmon cannot be eaten raw.
Thanks for your input.
Lorraine
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Lorraine
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post #6 of 17
There are all kinds of parasites that exist in fresh and in salt water; they are just different. Bacteria and parasites are not the same thing. I'm no expert but I heard somewhere that if you aren't cooking a fish, the only way to eliminate harmful parasites is by deep-freezing it first. In fact, no sushi grade fish is immune from parasites, which is why it is recomended that pregnant women abstain from raw fish altogether.

A.
post #7 of 17
I eat many fish raw, including wild salmon and have never had a problem with it. The most important thing is to buy from a reputable fish monger. One who knows where his fish is coming from. Certain fish should not be caught in certain areas of the oceans at different times of year because parasites may congregate there. A good fish monger will know these things and know not to buy...say tuna caught off the coast of Brazil during Feb. (just for example).
Any time you eat raw fish, like any raw meat, there is the potential that it contains some type of parasite, but the chances of you contracting anything is very slim. I have eaten sushi, tartare, and carpaccio for years and have never once gotten sick from it.
post #8 of 17

First of all, no junk "farm raised" salmon for me. Secondly, there are so many reasons why you don't have to worry about parasites in salmon. SushiFAQ.com covers this in depths at http://www.sushifaq.com/sushi-sashimi-info/sushi-grade-fish/ plus, I always buy my sushi grade seafood from purveyors such as sushinut.com ( http://www.sushinut.com ) if not off the dock. I prefer my fish raw or rare (particularly salmon) and unless you are trying to buy the cheapest possible salmon to make a few basis points of margin, you shouldn't have any trouble. I've been buying salmon (and tons of other seafood) for decades, and have *never* encountered any problems with reputable sources.

post #9 of 17

I did salmon seining in Alaska the past few summers.  Parasites are a certain danger in wild salmon and I personally know people that have tried making sushi without freezing the salmon first and gotten their crew sick.  That said, I routinely froze our fish and prepared it raw with no trouble at all.

post #10 of 17
Were you dressing those fish? I worked on a trawler for a summer and dressed my fair share of salmon. I don't eat sushi any more. The closest I come is a midrare slice of tuna and that's only when I see what the fish itself looked like (so at work). It may be relatively safe, but people still get sick. Not to mention, 99% of life in the ocean is location specific.

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post #11 of 17

Sorry Chef dont'agree.

I break about 400 lbs of assorted fish species weekly. I have seen worms and other things in almost all. As far as the term Sushi Grade? its' hype there is no such animal. (according to our 3 fish suppliers it's BS)

Most places will not use fish for sushi unless quick frozen(Nitro) for 72 hours prior to use.

       The cruise ship industry for example does not permit the use of unfrozen fish for any type dish.. Biggest problems are with domestic cod, swordfish, some tuna,grouper not to often in farm salmon but in wild salmon yes. It's part of nature.. Put a portion of fish on a sizzler subject it to heat and up pops the worm. heat draws them out. Thats why a lot of broiler cooks carry needle nose plyers. They are not only for pin bones!

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 17

Sushi Grade should mean that it's been frozen to a specific temp range for a rated amount of time. In many cases in the US the law requires fish to be frozen first for Sushi but there is little to no enforcement. There is a time/temp schedule and we've discussed that here in the past. It's been a long time but IIR there was some info about that in the NY times.

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Golo View Post

First of all, no junk "farm raised" salmon for me. Secondly, there are so many reasons why you don't have to worry about parasites in salmon. SushiFAQ.com covers this in depths at http://www.sushifaq.com/sushi-sashimi-info/sushi-grade-fish/ plus, I always buy my sushi grade seafood from purveyors such as sushinut.com ( http://www.sushinut.com ) if not off the dock. I prefer my fish raw or rare (particularly salmon) and unless you are trying to buy the cheapest possible salmon to make a few basis points of margin, you shouldn't have any trouble. I've been buying salmon (and tons of other seafood) for decades, and have *never* encountered any problems with reputable sources.



Jim, you do know that the Scottish salmon you are buying from sushinut is farm raised?

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You can't lay on the beach and drink rum all day unless you start in the morning

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post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Golo View Post

Secondly, there are so many reasons why you don't have to worry about parasites in salmon.



Not that I believe every thing I read on the Internet (although it may be more reliable than information from many vendors) you may want to read this. You could also do a quick search and you will find numerous articles that are similar.

 

 

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/GlobalHealth/story?id=7847413&page=1

 

 

Not the exact article I was looking for from the times but it should do.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/08/nyregion/sushi-fresh-from-the-deep-the-deep-freeze.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/15/opinion/15shaw.html?_r=1

 

 

FDA page for parasites;

 

http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/GuidanceDocuments/Seafood/FishandFisheriesProductsHazardsandControlsGuide/ucm091704.htm

 

 

 

I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scubadoo97 View Post



Jim, you do know that the Scottish salmon you are buying from sushinut is farm raised?



Actually, Yes. And perhaps I should have qualified that statement better. You may already know this, but there are different methodologies of farm raising salmon (or any fish). Salmon and Hamachi (yellowtail) are great examples. Different sources that sell farm raised fish use different practices, different feed, different captivity environments, etc. The farm raised salmon from Scotland is not raised on grains, so it has plenty of Omega 3 fatty acids (check out http://www.omega3faq.com for more on that) and also has the proper color and consistency of wild salmon. Most farm raised salmon is raised on feed that leads to white flesh that needs to be dyed,and has a softer, mushy consistency, and a general lack of the "good" fats (DHA & EPA) found in seafood. The salmon from Sushinut is raised in a manner that it doesn't fall apart, has great color, and has all the good fats, while it isn't raised inundated with antibiotics and swimming in it's own filth.

 

Scottish salmon farming practices are well known for their quality practices, and I actually emailed Sushinut to ask them about their salmon prior to purchasing it. Most farm raised fish is junk, but if I can find properly managed aquaculture based seafood, I don't discount it. It's just hard to find, which is why I am so happy with Sushinut. (This is not a paid endorsement, I'm a customer).

 

I just bought a 12 pack of their soft shelled crabs, BTW, and they were big and incredible.

post #16 of 17

The Queen of England will only eat Salmon from Scotland so that she doesn't risk getting sick on the fish.

 

Sushi Grade BS? Many fisheries are now flash freezing their fish out at sea because it keeps them fresher longer. However, that would still not negate whether a fish is "Sushi Grade" or not. After the flash freezing, how long do they stay frozen does matter to me. Sushi Grade fish is frozen for seven days at -4 degrees F.  Flash freezing at -31 F for at least 15 hours. However, the FDA doesn't really have any specific regulations demanding this, only suggestions as far as my research tells me. Any fish that doesn't go through this isn't Sushi Grade in my books. I think that how quickly that fish is put into a flash freezer and for how long does matter. Also, if it goes from flash freezing, into a freezer quickly without getting warmer then -4 F is also worth noting when looking for Sushi Grade fish.

post #17 of 17

The Queen of England is actually the Queen of the United Kingdom (which includes my home country of Scotland, for the time being). I've never read/heard that she won't eat anything but Scots salmon, but hey....   that's a plus to me!

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