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Raw Salmon ?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
i was wondering if ALL salmon can be eaten raw? the salmon at the local groceries, can those be eaten raw? if so or not what is edible raw and what is the process if there is one to eat raw salmon.
thank you

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post #2 of 23
Pretty much so, but there is at least one step to be taken first: freezing to kill any parasites that might be lurking. When I cooked in a restaurant that also had a sushi bar, the sushi chef's assistant would coat all fresh salmon with coarse salt and then freeze it for a couple of days. This took care of any critters that might have dwelt in the flesh.

Since a lot of salmon you might buy in the supermarket has already been frozen (FAS or frozen at sea), you might not have to go through this step. But you have to be sure that it was, in fact, frozen.
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post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
and after frozen how long do u think it's ok to be in the fridge?
thanks
post #4 of 23
That depends on the temperature and packaging.

I vacuum pack mine and keep it "on-ice" and it keeps very well, though I rotate it out in four (4) days at the restaurant, I've kept it 7-10 days at home with no obvious problems.
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post #5 of 23
Suzanne is 100 correct
. Freeze it first. Not that salmon is as suceptable to worms and parisites like other fish, but it has also been handled by many hands after being harvested.. though this wont kill all bacteria,
Try and purchase what is called clear grade. Rinse it good under clear cold wate , If your buying in supermarket, they wont even know what that means.
Most salmon at local stores is farm raised and sometimes previously frozen so careful, you dont want to freeze twice.:D
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post #6 of 23
Freezing meat: Does it kill harmful bacteria? - MayoClinic.com

Does freezing raw meat kill harmful germs and bacteria?
Answer
from Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

Freezing meat doesn't kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms. It simply inhibits their growth. When you thaw the frozen meat, any microorganisms that were present before freezing will start multiplying again.
===================
bookofjoe: Helpful Hints from joeeze: Does freezing fish kill bacteria?
Helpful Hints from joeeze: Does freezing fish kill bacteria?

Short answer shorter: No.

"Freezing fish will NOT kill bacteria! Freezing at very low temperatures does kill fish parasites, which is one reason why maatjes herring and much fish for sushi and sashimi are frozen before being eaten raw. But bacteria are hardy and will spring back to life when you thaw the fish."

[via Harold McGee and the New York Times]
post #7 of 23
Freezing will not kill parasites, and neither will it do anything about the toxins. I am exec sous at a hotel whose restaurant serves a sushi roll. Here are things to consider:

1. Do you know where your salmon came from? If you cannot answer "yes" to that question, then I would not go further.
2. How fresh is the salmon? If it is more than a day old, I would not go further.
3. Where do I live? This last one sound weird, but if you live in the Prairies, then you *should* not be trusting something that has been trucked out to you from a salmon farm.

My response would be different if the salmon was wild. That is why it is so important to know where things come from so you do not end up contracting a parasitic infection.

Finally, wasabi *(the real stuff, not the horseradish powder)* is purported to have astringent properties. I still would not eat an off salmon, but there is that as well.
Jason Sandeman

Real Food Through Solid Technique
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post #8 of 23
I've never heard of freezing salmon before serving with sushi...~Gobsmacked!!

I buy local and supermarket and noproblem. We serve smoked and raw sushi
"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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"If we're not supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?" Jo Brand
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post #9 of 23
Wrong. Skim the medical literature and the USDA, looking for trichinosis. You'll find that some microorganisms, like the nematodes that cause trichinosis, can be killed by steady freezing at minimum temperatures for given durations. The USDA provides recommendations dependent on thickness of meat, temperature of freezer, and so on; you can get these from your local agricultural station resources website.

Whether this method is sufficient to kill all parasites in salmon is another question: it depends on the parasites in question, the method of freezing, and so on. But anyone who's supposed to have medical-nutrition qualifications who can blandly assert that "freezing meat doesn't kill ... harmful microorganisms" should not be trusted. It's part of how the US has been so successful in controlling trichinosis -- about 40 cases a year nationwide!

The other link provided, giving third-hand information via Harold McGee, is irrelevant. The only information given has to do with bacterial infection, which is usually more an issue with respect to handling the fish after it's been harvested. If the fish is harvested and handled properly, the principal worry is parasites, particularly in salmon.

The Health Protection and Promotion Act, Regulation 562, in the Province of Ontario, "effective September 1, 2004 requir[es] commercial food establishments that prepare fish that is intended to be consumed raw, (including raw-marinated and partially cooked fish), to freeze the product before preparation to a temperature of minus 20 degrees Celsius or below for 7 days or to a temperature of minus 35 Celsius degrees or below for 15 hours," the move being intended as "a pre-emptive strike against fish borne parasites and other food borne pathogens" (USDA GAIN Report CA4070: 10/8/2004).

In Japan, long deep freezing of salmon is a common way to pre-prepare it for raw usage, but that's not to say that I have authoritative information from the Japanese health ministries as to precisely what effects this process might have.

In any event, my point is that this is emphatically not a simple matter.
post #10 of 23
I agree that the matter is not simple. First, trichinosis is the least of your worries, as that is more assosiated with pork products. I cannot speak for the US pork products, but in Canada trichinosis is almost eradicated from the producer's level.

With sushi, some items may be partially frozen to aid in cutting, but usually that is it. My experience with the sushi chefs I have worked with tells me the fish's texture changes with thawing. Take Albacore. Fresh, the tuna is awesome. Freezit and thaw it, and it is mushy, and really only usable in cooked preparations.

I use tobiko that is frozen, as well as unagi, so I would say it depends. Those items are sold at the highest quality levels, and are scutinized to my standard. Salmon, not so much.

I would not eat a tartar of salmon unless - knew it was wild. Cured is alright, as the salinity would help that out.

I hope my rambling has helped someone.
Jason Sandeman

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post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
wooow...thanks for the responses guys, i totally appreciate it.
im going to be doing my 1st catering event, and i wanted to use salmon, but i had to double check.
i guess buying it from a supermarket and making gravalax out of it right away should be alright no ?
thanks
post #12 of 23
Wild Salmon is back in season :roll:

I wouldn't pay 28 a lbs they are asking for it, at least if its cooked, but for raw, most definitely.
post #13 of 23
The point is not that there are trichinosis-bearing nematodes in salmon. The point is that the quoted authority claimed that freezing does not kill parasitic infections. This is flatly wrong. Whether it does so in salmon depends on what the salmon is bearing, and I have no serious information on what that is or how it responds to freezing.

Does anyone have any reliable, authoritative information that wild salmon is essentially parasite-free? I've seen people say this many times. But then again, people also tell you that freezing does nothing to food-borne pathogens of any kind....

In short, my advice is to buy salmon only from a dealer whom you have very good reason to trust on what is and is not safe for raw service. Do not guess or try to "figure it out" without reliable, authoritative information. I have tried the USDA site and found nothing, but I haven't combed through all the 500-some entries that popped up. You might have better luck with the Alaskan agricultural research stations or their equivalents in coastal Canada. In the absence of information that good, rely on a very reliable dealer or do not serve raw.
post #14 of 23
>>The point is not that there are trichinosis-bearing nematodes in salmon. The point is that the quoted authority claimed that freezing does not kill parasitic infections. This is flatly wrong. Whether it does so in salmon depends on what the salmon is bearing, and I have no serious information on what that is or how it responds to freezing.

I'm unable to locate any mention of trichnosis in salmon.

the question asked was:
Does freezing raw meat kill harmful germs and bacteria?

and I posted that information in response to the statement that freezing
>>>though this wont kill all bacteria

it's highly unlikely to kill any but a few types bacteria - or viruses.

quote: FDA guidelines: Some species of fish can contain parasites, and freezing will kill any parasites that may be present. However, freezing does not kill all harmful microorganisms, so the safest route is to cook seafood."

there maybe a difference in opinion as to what is a parasite and what is a microrganism among the posters.

per Salmon Aquaculture and Fish Tapeworm | CDC EID the major parasite found in salmon is a tapeworm.
"Alternatively, the plerocercoids can be destroyed by blast-freezing the fish at –35°C for 15 hours and by regular freezing at –20°C for 7 days before consumption ."

note that home freezers do not achieve these temps.
post #15 of 23
Okay, so we have some solid ground to work with: "blast-freezing the fish at –35°C for 15 hours and by regular freezing at –20°C for 7 days before consumption" will deal fairly summarily with likely parasitic pathogens. It will not, of course, do anything about bacteria or viruses, as expected.

Since home (and most restaurant) freezers cannot do these things, the questions lie with the source:

1. Do you know for reasonably certain that your purveyor observes these guidelines and has the equipment to do so? OR

2. Do you have good reason to think that the fish provided by your purveyor is already free of parasitic pathogens in the first place? (Thus my question about whether wild is actually likely free of parasites.)

As far as bacterial infection, my understanding -- for which I have no authoritative evidence whatever -- is that bacterial infection in salmon is extremely uncommon prior to harvesting, but may be introduced afterward by bad handling practices. IF this is correct -- and I wouldn't assume that it is, but IF -- then the remaining question:

3. Do you have excellent reason to think that your purveyor follows excellent handling practices throughout the operation?

(Note: by "your purveyor" I mean right the way up the chain to the initial harvesting, not just the guy behind the fish counter.)

If you can answer either 1 or 2, and 3, in the affirmative, then I'd say you've done due diligence. I wouldn't assume that this doesn't make you legally liable if someone gets sick -- that's something requiring legal advice -- but I would happily serve fish like this raw to my extended family and friends without a qualm. I would guess that most of the salmon I am served in sushi restaurants in the U.S. matches my description reasonably well (anyway, I hope so). I KNOW for a fact that it matches the salmon rated for raw use that I buy in Japan, except that I can't be entirely sure some moron working in the cutting station in the back somewhere has washed his hands correctly -- although I can be sure that everyone else does, and he does 99% of the time, and if anyone spotted him they'd remind him, so I'm pretty confident. Then again, safe handling of raw seafood for raw service is a great deal more common here than in the U.S.
post #16 of 23
'bacteria free' has to be qualified - every living thing is full of bacteria. the pertinent question is 'bacteria harmful to humans'

for example wild salmon feed on snails, etc, and pass multiple nasties 'up the food chain' one of which can be fatal to canines but does not affect humans or felines or . . . .

how to know if the stuff you bought is okay? send it out to a lab for examination, one presumes....

at some point we are all reliant on "the system" working. the system does not always work. example the recent issue with the peanut guys who had full knowledge their sampling showed problems but just kept on trucking.
post #17 of 23
No, you're dead right, Dillbert. I think we've been on the same page from the beginning of this thread, actually.

You don't serve stuff raw unless you have excellent reason to think it's safe to do so. But "excellent reason" means (a) you know what you're talking about, and (b) you do everything within reason to ensure that what you're getting matches what you know it needs to be.

What worries me is notions that "freezing it will make it safe" or "if I'm serving it raw, I'm going to use wild, because that's safe." Er, really? Freezing it according to the very impressive regimen Dillbert has quoted will make it safe from parasites. This is what I mean by "knowing what you're talking about." Similarly, wild salmon is safer because...

um

hello? Anyone? Is there good evidence of this? And remember, it can't just be safer, it's got to be safe.

You've got to have excellent reason to think that what you're serving is safe, not "safer than something not-safe." Playing in the middle of a not-very-busy street is safer for 4-year-olds than playing in the middle of a busy street, but do you call that safe when your kid wants to do it? Or do you try to find a place that is actually safe... within reason, since obviously you can't prevent some lunatic driving his SUV across 50 feet of lawn to kill kids, for example.

Just so, you want the things you serve to be safe within any reasonable definition of due diligence. But if you think that throwing a salmon side in the home freezer overnight will make it safe, you'll make bad choices that could have been avoided.
post #18 of 23
Wholeheartedly agree. Freezing might kill the parasites... but so what? Would I serve salmon that came from a farm that potentially had parasites in it? Not in good conscience. I would not freeze it to pass it off either. That goes against my philosophy of cooking.

Wild salmon may have parasites in it, but it is exceedingly rare compared to farmed salmon, which *could* be growing in an environment that encourages the growth. For this reason, farmed salmon would not make good sashimi.
Jason Sandeman

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post #19 of 23
>>Wild salmon may have parasites in it, but it is exceedingly rare compared to farmed salmon,

I recommend you review:
http://www.cdc.gov/eid/content/15/6/pdfs/09-0132.pdf

if a species is a vector for <something unwanted> keep in mind it probably occurred in nature way long before "farming it" was invented.

as previously mentioned by another poster, the incidence of trichinosis from commercial pork in North America is almost nil. there's a reason for that - regulatory changes to allowable feed is largely responsible.

the Nordic countries have some of the strictest regulations regarding fish farming. not all countries do, and regs are not always followed. so when the farmer cheats, the lab cooperates, the distribution quality checks fail, there's going to be a problem.

wish we had someone seriously familiar with how fish intended for the 'raw consumption' market was handled. perhaps Chris can provide some insight to that - wild caught fish <pick a species> coming to market in Japan for raw consumption - has it been super deep frozen to kill parasites? I see these blurb now and then about a tuna fetching thousands of dollars x 10 - does it get deep frozen 'just to be sure'?

my local market labels stuff fresh, previously frozen, wild caught, farmed - and all the applicable combinations. regardless, I would not even dream of buying salmon or tuna or <anything> from them for the purpose of sushi/raw fish dishes. I always insisted on smelling the fish before they wrap it; now-a-days when I show up and ask "how's the <fish>" I'll get a subtle headshake yes/no - or in some cases a "hold on I'll get some from the back" these people know how long the fish has been sitting there on ice - and they know I'm a picky fisher.
post #20 of 23
I don't know very much about the supply chain on fish here, I'm afraid. I do know that it's subject to extremely close scrutiny, and generally very successful -- food-borne disease is very uncommon, and when one does hear about it it's usually associated with things like raw leafy greens (or fugu poisoning from tetrodotoxin, but that's a very different matter). Chicken sashimi is common, as are raw eggs, and salmonella is extremely rare.

Essentially all tuna is deep-frozen at sea. My impression is that this is not so common with other seafood, but I'm really not sure.

Interestingly, perhaps, one of the few fish that people worry about is salmon, which you don't see as sashimi all that often.
post #21 of 23
Sorry to disagree with you ,freezing does kill parasites. The cruise ship industry has adopted the rules according to the US Health org. and USDA that all fish for consumption must be frozen 48 to 72 hours prior to being loaded on board. In fact it is processed once on board in a cooled or refrigerated fish room. True, It does not kill bacteria or toxins but does kill worms and parasites, no matter where the source.:D
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post #22 of 23
I am in Ed's camp on this one. Yes freezing does kill parasites.

As for bacteria and toxins, no, as stated previously. Although I do not work in a restaurant, let alone a sushi place, I have done sushi at home and used my <tartar> method of preparation to reduce all the risks:
Using a sanitizing solution (i.e. dissolve 2 tbsp of Dishwasher soap in 2 l of warm water.) I cut away out a core portion sanitizing the knife at every cut.
This exercise reduces the amount of surface bacteria.

I would tend to prefer wild salmon as well but not for the lack of parasites (which I do not believe in) but the flesh is firmer and less fatty and soft. Farmed fish as overfed to fatten them up quickly hence the flesh is greasy soft.

Luc H.
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post #23 of 23
Luc,
try this as a sanitizing agent(hypochloride) or in english a 5% clorox solution between knife cut.
Soap or detergent leaves a residue. In fact ingestion of same could trigger a form of disitary or the runs. Where -as clorox does not. It can be ingested as we have all have been in a chlorine swimming pool and at some point in our lives have swallowed the water. In fact in all food service facilities in Florida one must have red buckets of this solution near our work areas.
Many years ago in butcher shops we had a sterilizer pot in center of bench and our knives had to be immersed in this pot of electrically boiled water when we took a break. You are right in sterilizing between cuts Also mix the clorox in cold water as hot water turns it to chlorine gas and it disapates..:D
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