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Can You Eat Raw Salmon from Costco?

Salmon is said to be one of the most nutritious foods available. In recent times, it has become an increasingly popular fish as people become more health-conscious and are willing to adopt healthy options in terms of diet and exercise, to boost their overall wellbeing. Apart from the fact that it is delicious, salmon is also loaded with a plethora of nutrients beneficial to the health. 

Raw salmon is a common ingredient in many recipes; hence, it is readily available in Costco and almost every grocery store. Fish used to be pretty much cooked before being eaten, but since raw salmon now has a place in both local and international cuisine, some people still have reservations as to whether or not to eat raw salmon from Costco. 

Can you eat raw salmon from Costco?

Yes, you can eat raw salmon from Costco, provided you buy fresh frozen (flash-frozen) farm-raised salmon with the tag “farmed Atlantic salmon” or “farmed Alaskan salmon”. This is because farm-raised salmon have a lower risk for parasites than wild-caught salmon. While wild-caught salmon tastes better, farmed salmon is raised on feed pellets which prevents them from eating infected prey. Please note that raw salmon may contain parasites, bacteria, and other toxins that can be harmful (depending on how it is handled), so you should only eat raw salmon that has been stored and prepared properly.

Can you eat Atlantic salmon raw? 

Yes, you can. Atlantic salmon is safe to eat raw, so far it is farm-raised and has been handled and stored properly.

Types of salmon you can eat raw

Atlantic salmon, Alaskan salmon, and other commonly filleted salmons for raw food can be eaten raw. Other types of salmon that you can eat raw include silver salmon, chum salmon, and king salmon. As long as they are farm-raised, properly handled, and stored, these types of salmon can be eaten without cooking.

What happens if I eat raw salmon?

Nothing terrible will happen to you IF you eat farmed salmon which was properly handled and stored as required. Raw salmon is relatively safe to eat. Wild salmon, however, poses a greater risk to your health if eaten raw. This is because, wild salmon, unlike farmed salmon, feeds on different prey, some of which may have been infected. This is a potential risk to the consumer of such fish.

Also, salmon that was not properly handled or stored can cause food-borne illnesses if you eat it. Immunocompromised individuals such as HIV patients may suffer foodborne illnesses if they eat raw salmon.

Does Costco salmon have worms?

Although there have been a few reported cases of worms in salmon purchased at Costco, it is quite rare for Costco salmon to have worms. This is because fish used for sushi or meant to be eaten raw is usually flash frozen immediately after being caught or harvested. Freezing provides an effective means of inactivating parasites in raw fish, and there are recommendations for the freezing of fish intended to be consumed raw. Besides, Good Aquaculture Practices in farmed fish have the potential to reduce and eliminate pathogenic loads in farm-raised salmon.

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How to make salmon safe to eat raw

If you love raw salmon dishes, there are some precautions you must take to make your salmon safe to eat raw. 

  1. Ensure you buy your salmon from trusted grocery stores, cold rooms, and restaurants where you are sure that your fish has been handled and stored properly.
  2. Make sure to wash your hands and clean your kitchen utensils and food preparation surfaces to avoid cross-contamination.
  3. Never buy salmon that has been left out for a long time, instead, only buy salmon that is refrigerated or kept in ice. At home, keep your fish in the refrigerator or freezer; do not leave it out for more than 2 hours.
  4. Always inspect your salmon at the point of purchase. A visual inspection will help you to detect any odd color, texture, or appearance. Make sure to observe the smell also.

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Who should not eat raw salmon?

Raw salmon can pose a huge risk for the following set of people; hence, they should avoid eating it.

  1. The elderly
  2. Young children
  3. Pregnant women
  4. HIV patients
  5. The diabetic
  6. People with a weak or compromised immune system

Are you planning to make your salmon sashimi at home, and you were not sure if you can eat raw salmon from Costco? Well, I’m glad I have been able to allay your fear. Get your ingredients ready and make some delicious salmon sashimi – you’re good to go! Most importantly, whether you eat raw salmon from Costco or your favorite restaurant down the road, just make sure to choose high-quality, properly handled, and prepared salmon.