Is Eating Raw Fish Safe And Healthy?

There are people who prefer the taste and texture of raw fish rather than the cooked fish. Raw fish dishes are popular in Japan. Especially dishes like sashimi and sushi. However, is eating raw fish safe? Give this article a read and you will get to know the answer.

Benefits of Eating Raw Fish

Cooking the fish degrade the amount of nutritional quality of the fish. Raw fish does not contain contaminants and grilling fish may cause heterocyclic amines that increase the risk of cancer. In addition, frying the fish lessen the amount of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Furthermore, there is always a risk of eating raw fish. The uncooked fresh fish may cause the risk of carrying microbes and parasites. These microbes and parasites may cause infection and food poisoning.

In addition, raw fishes may also pose some potential hazards to the food consumers besides the parasites. Moreover, the non-fresh fish may also develop bacteria and produce enzymes, which may cause Scombroid poisoning. The tropical fish water also has a natural toxin, which may cause gastrointestinal and neurological symptoms.

Types Of Dishes That Serves Raw Fish                     

Some of the popular raw fish dishes are the following:

  • Carpaccio: Carpaccio consists of thinly sliced or pounded fish. It commonly serves as appetizers.
  • Ceviche: Ceviche is made up of raw fish cured in lemon or lime juice. Ceviche is a marinated seafood dish that is popular in Latin America. Marinating the fish with citrus juice may not penetrate the fish thoroughly depending on how long it is marinated. To minimize the risks, talk to a reliable fishmonger.
  • Koi pla: Koi pla consists of finely chopped raw fish mixed with lime juice and different kinds of ingredients, such as garlic, chili, fish sauce, vegetables, and It is popular in the Southeast Asian countries.
  • Poke: Poke is a Hawaiian salad. They usually serve it with chunks of seasoned raw fish mixed with vegetables.
  • Sashimi: Sashimi is from the sliced raw fish.
  • Soused herring: This is actualy a marin raw herring. This dish is common in the Netherlands.
  • Sushi: Including raw fish, Sushi is not raw, vinegar rice with different kinds of ingredients. You can go to a popular restaurant or buy a sushi container from the supermarket. But, is eating raw fish safe? If you want to make your own Sushi, you can buy high-grade sushi fish that has been frozen per FDA regulations. Eat the sushi the soonest possible. Do not refrigerate it for more than 24 hours. Sushi eaters do not need to worry about the parasites and bacteria in the dish. Sushi restaurants take definite steps in the preparation of the dish. The steps involve freezing the fish for seven days to kill any parasites on the fish.

Is eating raw fish safe?

If you want to eat raw fish, buy previously frozen fish. Simple refrigeration makes the organisms to reproduce. This is not a good way to control the parasites.

According to the regulations by the Food and Drug Administration, raw fish is safe as long as they follow the guidelines accordingly. The fish must be frozen at a specific temperature and the fish must be stored for a certain period of time. Freezing and storage kill the parasites effectively. The FDA recommends proper freezing of fish that will be consumed raw are the following:

  1. The fish must be stored and frozen at a negative 20 degrees Celsius or below for 7 days in a freezer.
  2. Freezing the fish at negative 35 degrees Celsius or below until the fish is solid is a must. It must be stored at negative 35 degrees Celsius or below for 15 hours.
  3. Or the fish must be frozen at negative 35 degrees Celsius or below until the fish is solid. Storing it at negative 20 degrees Celsius or below for 24 hours is a must.

Parasite Infections from Raw Fish

Parasites are animals or plants that feed off from another living organism. So, is eating raw fish safe? Other parasites do not cause acute symptoms but there are others that cause harm over the period of time. Parasitic infections can be transmittable by improperly cooked food which includes eating raw fish.

  • Liver Flukes. Liver Flukes are parasitic flatworms that cause opisthorchiasis. According to studies, opisthorchiasis is due to the consumption of raw and improperly cooked fish.
  • These worms live in fishes that live their lives in the sea, including salmon.
    Parasitic roundworms can cause anisakiasis. Anisakiasis causes stomach pain, inflammation or vomiting.
  • Tapeworms. Tapeworms are carried o consumers who eat raw and uncooked freshwater fish, including salmon. Although tapeworms do not cause symptoms, they cause diphyllobothriasis. Diphyllobothriasis includes constipation or diarrhea.

Bacterial Infections from Raw Fish

Eating raw fish may cause food poisoning. That is actually the reason why it is recommendable to cook the fish that we eat. Nevertheless, the risk of food poisoning from eating raw fish is small for healthy people. On the other hand, consumers with the weak immune system are more susceptible to infections.


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