The Health Risks of Eating Raw Salmon: What You Need to Know
The Health Risks of Eating Raw Salmon
Raw salmon is a popular delicacy in many cultures, but it can also pose health risks. Here's what you need to know about the potential dangers of eating raw salmon and how to reduce your risk of illness.
Risk of Parasites
Raw salmon may contain parasites, such as tapeworms, that can cause illness in humans. These parasites can live in the flesh of the fish and may not be visible to the naked eye. Eating raw or undercooked salmon increases the risk of parasite infection.
Risk of Bacterial Infections
Raw salmon can also contain harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella, that can cause food poisoning. These bacteria can be present in the intestines of the fish and can contaminate the flesh during processing. Eating raw or undercooked salmon increases the risk of bacterial infection.
Reducing Your Risk
To reduce your risk of illness from raw salmon, follow these tips:
- Only eat raw salmon that has been previously frozen. Freezing salmon at -4°F for at least seven days kills parasites.
- Always purchase salmon from a reputable source and check the sell-by date.
- Store raw salmon in the refrigerator at 40°F or below and consume it within two days.
- Cook salmon to an internal temperature of 145°F to kill harmful bacteria.
While raw salmon may be a delicacy, it can pose health risks due to the potential for parasites and harmful bacteria. By taking precautions, such as only eating previously frozen salmon and cooking it to the appropriate temperature, you can reduce your risk of illness. If you do choose to eat raw salmon, be sure to purchase it from a reputable source and store it properly.