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Why Is It Safe To Eat Raw Fish In Sushi?

Why can you eat raw fish but not meat?

When it comes to consuming raw food, the risk of foodborne illness is always a concern.

However, why is it that we can eat raw fish in sushi but not raw meat? Here are some reasons:

Different types of bacteria and parasites

Raw meat has a higher risk of containing harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.

On the other hand, fish are less likely to contain these types of bacteria but instead may contain parasites like tapeworms or roundworms.

Fish parasites vs meat bacteria

The good news is that many fish parasites can be killed by freezing the fish at -4°F (-20°C) for at least 7 days, which most sushi restaurants do.

In contrast, most bacteria in raw meat cannot be killed by freezing alone and must be cooked at high temperatures to eradicate them.

Cultural differences

It’s also worth noting that cultural differences play a role in what type of raw food people consume.

For example, in Japan where sushi originated from, eating raw fish is a common practice and considered safe due to their traditional preparation methods.

In conclusion, while there are risks associated with consuming any type of raw food, the specific risks vary between different types of food.

Eating raw fish in sushi is generally considered safe as long as it is prepared properly and comes from a reputable source.

Raw Fish In Sushi

Why are we allowed to eat raw fish?

Eating raw fish seems to be a bit controversial when it comes to food safety.

However, in many cultures around the world, people have been consuming raw fish for centuries.

Unlike poultry, meat or eggs, seafood has a much lower risk of carrying dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli.

The role of bacteria

Bacteria grow quickly in meat and poultry when they are kept at room temperature.

This is why proper cooking temperatures are critical to eliminate harmful bacteria that could be present.

Fish on the other hand, is not as conducive to bacterial growth due to its high salt content, which acts as a natural preservative.

The role of freezing

In addition, many types of fish used in sushi and sashimi are frozen prior to being served.

Freezing helps kill any parasites that might be present in the fish.

The FDA recommends that all fish intended for raw consumption should be frozen first at -4°F (-20°C) or below for at least 7 days or at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and then stored at -31°F or below for 15 hours.

Freshness is key

Another factor that plays a crucial role in the safety of eating raw fish is its freshness.

If it is not fresh, even cooked fish can make you ill.

Good sushi chefs will only use seafood that has been properly handled and kept fresh throughout the chain of distribution.

This means buying from a reputable source, storing it well and using it before its expiration date.

In summary, while eating raw fish does come with some risks if not prepared properly, if you follow proper food handling practices and buy from reliable sources then there is generally no reason why you should avoid enjoying your favorite sushi rolls!

Why is raw salmon in sushi safe?

Raw salmon is commonly found in sushi, and many people wonder whether it’s safe to eat.

The answer is yes – raw salmon used in sushi is considered safe to consume, as long as it has been properly handled and prepared.

Here are some reasons why:

The quality of the fish matters:

One major reason why raw salmon used in sushi is safe to eat is because of the quality of the fish.

Sushi-grade salmon is carefully selected and handled to ensure that it’s free from parasites and harmful bacteria.

The freezing process:

In addition, raw salmon used in sushi is usually frozen before preparation to kill any potential parasites that may be present.

Organic acids naturally found in the fish will produce a mild pickling effect during freezing, which further kills off any remaining parasite eggs or larvae.

The preparation process:

The preparation process also plays a crucial role in ensuring that raw salmon used in sushi is safe to eat.

Experienced sushi chefs take great care when slicing the fish by de-boning the fillets with tweezers to remove any small bones.

In conclusion, raw salmon in sushi can be safely consumed as long as it’s been properly handled and prepared.

It’s important to choose high-quality fish and ensure it has been frozen sufficiently before consumption.

By taking these precautions, you should not have any health concerns while enjoying this delicious delicacy.

Why is tuna safe to eat raw?

Tuna is one of the most popular types of fish used in sushi and sashimi.

Some people may question the safety of eating raw tuna, but it is actually quite safe for consumption when handled and prepared properly.

Tuna’s low risk of containing parasites

Unlike some other types of fish, such as salmon, tuna has a very low risk of containing parasites like tapeworms or roundworms.

This is because tuna typically lives in open waters and feeds on other pelagic fish, rather than spending time in freshwater environments where parasites are more common.

Sushi-grade tuna

Another reason why raw tuna is safe to eat is due to the quality grading system in place for sushi-grade tuna.

High-quality sushi restaurants use specific grades known as “sashimi-grade” or “sushi-grade” to ensure the quality and safety of the fish they serve.

Raw Fish In Sushi

Freezing process

In addition, proper freezing techniques also help make raw tuna safer to consume.

Sushi-grade tuna undergoes a specific flash-freezing process that kills any potential parasites without damaging the texture and flavor of the meat.


Finally, freshness is crucial when it comes to consuming raw tuna.

The fresher the fish, the lower the risk of bacterial contamination.

High-quality sushi restaurants typically receive their seafood shipments daily, ensuring that they are serving only fresh seafood.

Overall, raw tuna can be safely eaten when handled and prepared properly.

By using high-quality sushi-grade tuna, undergoing proper freezing techniques, and ensuring freshness, you can enjoy delicious and healthy sushi and sashimi without worry.

How does sushi not have parasites?

Raw fish, such as the ones used in sushi and sashimi, can contain parasites that are harmful to humans.

However, sushi is generally considered safe to eat because of the way it is prepared and served.

Sourcing high-quality fish

The first step in ensuring that sushi is safe to consume is by sourcing high-quality fish.

Restaurants and sushi chefs purchase fish from reputable suppliers who adhere to strict guidelines for handling and storing seafood.

This reduces the chances of contamination and infection.

Freezing the fish

Another critical step in making raw fish safe for consumption is by freezing it. Freezing fish at -20°C or below for a minimum of 24 hours kills most parasites that could be present, including tapeworms and Anisakis worms.

Serving the right part of the fish

The part of the fish eaten also matters when it comes to preventing parasite infections.

For example, chefs usually avoid serving raw Toro (fatty tuna belly) due to its high-fat content that acts as a breeding ground for parasites.

Proper preparation techniques

Sushi chefs are trained in proper preparation techniques, including how to handle knives carefully, use gloves, clean surfaces thoroughly after handling raw fish or other ingredients.

This minimizes any potential contamination from bacteria or other harmful organisms.

In conclusion, while raw fish can contain parasites that are unsafe for human consumption, proper sourcing of high-quality seafood, freezing at appropriate temperatures and using correct preparation techniques makes sushi a safe option for enjoying this delicacy without worry.

Why is sashimi safe to eat?

The preparation process:

Sashimi, just like sushi, is prepared using high-quality fresh fish.

The preparation process is meticulous and involves careful handling and storage of the fish.

The fish is usually caught and immediately processed and stored in freezing temperatures to kill any parasites that may be present.

The quality of the ingredients:

The quality of the ingredients used in making sashimi is crucial for its safety.

High-quality fish that has been handled properly reduces the risk of contamination and diseases which would otherwise cause illness in consumers.

Serving size:

Sashimi is typically served in small portions which makes it easier for the body to handle in case of contamination. This helps reduce the risks associated with consuming raw fish.

Consumption within a short period:

Sashimi should be consumed within a short period after preparation to ensure it remains fresh and safe for consumption. Ideally, it should be consumed within 24 hours after being prepared.


In conclusion, sashimi is safe to eat when prepared correctly with fresh, high-quality ingredients and consumed within a short time period.

The meticulous preparation process used when making sashimi ensures that any potential risks associated with eating raw fish are significantly reduced.

However, it’s important to always obtain sashimi from reputable restaurants with proper food safety protocols in place.

How do you make raw fish safe to eat?


One of the ways to make raw fish safe for consumption is by freezing it.

Freezing fish at a temperature of -20°C (-4°F) for at least 7 days will kill any parasites present in the fish, making it safe to consume raw.


Another way to ensure the safety of consuming raw fish is by sourcing it from a reliable and trustworthy supplier.

For example, if you’re planning on making sushi or sashimi at home, make sure that you purchase your fish from a reputable fishmonger who specializes in sushi-grade fish.

Cleaning and preparation

Cleaning and preparing the fish properly is also crucial in making it safe for consumption.

The skin and bones should always be removed as they are prone to carrying parasites.

It’s important to handle the fish with clean hands and with clean utensils.

The cutting board should be cleaned thoroughly before and after use, and kept separate from other food items like meat, poultry or vegetables.

Avoiding high-risk species

It’s advisable to avoid consuming high-risk species of fish like swordfish, king mackerel or tilefish.

These types of fish are more likely to contain high levels of mercury which can be harmful if consumed raw or cooked.

By taking these measures when handling and preparing raw fish, you can enjoy sushi and sashimi safely without any risk of foodborne illness.

Raw Fish In Sushi

Why don’t we get sick from sushi?

The role of freshness

Freshness is key when it comes to sushi.

The fish used in sushi needs to be fresh and handled properly in order to avoid any contamination that can lead to food poisoning.

Sushi chefs take great care in selecting the freshest fish possible, and they often have a relationship with the fishermen who supply their seafood.

Vinegar and salt

Sushi rice is seasoned with a mixture of vinegar, sugar, and salt.

This not only adds flavor but also inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria.


In many countries, fish that will be consumed raw must be frozen first.

Freezing kills parasites and other harmful organisms that may be present in the fish.

The FDA recommends freezing fish at -4°F for at least seven days or -31°F for 15 hours.

Hygiene practices

Proper hygiene practices are crucial when preparing raw fish dishes like sushi.

Sushi chefs follow strict guidelines regarding hand washing, sanitizing utensils, and cleaning surfaces to prevent cross-contamination.

In conclusion, eating raw fish in sushi is safe when proper precautions are taken regarding freshness, seasoning, freezing, and hygiene practices.

Why don’t Japanese eat raw salmon?

It’s a common misconception that all sushi contains raw fish.

However, in Japan, not all sushi is made with raw fish and there are certain types of fish that are not traditionally consumed raw.

One such fish is salmon.

Salmon parasites

One reason why the Japanese don’t typically consume raw salmon is because it may contain parasites.

Salmon caught in freshwater, especially in colder regions such as Alaska, can carry a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola.

This parasite can be harmful to humans if consumed raw.

In order to prevent the spread of this parasite, the Japanese government requires that all salmon intended for raw consumption must undergo freezing at -20°C for at least 24 hours before it can be used in sushi or sashimi.

Taste preference

Another reason why the Japanese don’t traditionally eat raw salmon is simply a matter of taste preference. Raw salmon has a stronger flavor compared to other types of fish commonly used in sushi such as tuna or yellowtail. This flavor may not be pleasing to everyone’s palate.

Cultural factors

The Japanese also have different cultural and culinary traditions compared to western countries where eating raw fish is becoming more popular.

In Japan, the focus is on using fresh, seasonal ingredients and preserving their natural flavors rather than masking them with seasoning or cooking techniques.

Incorporating cooked or smoked salmon into dishes is more common in Japanese cuisine instead of consuming it raw.

While raw salmon may not be a common ingredient in traditional Japanese sushi, different variations and adaptations of sushi have become increasingly popular around the world.

Regardless of whether you choose to consume raw fish or not, it’s important to make sure you’re getting your food from a reputable source and following safe food handling practices.

Why do Japanese eat raw fish?

Cultural traditions

One of the main reasons why Japanese people eat raw fish is because of their long-standing cultural traditions.

Eating raw fish has been a part of their cuisine for centuries, and it’s considered a delicacy in many parts of the country.

Freshness and taste

The Japanese believe that the best way to enjoy seafood is to eat it as fresh as possible.

When fish is eaten raw, all the natural flavors and textures are preserved, resulting in a much tastier and more enjoyable meal overall.

Health benefits

Raw fish is also believed to offer several health benefits, which further encourages its consumption in Japan.

For one thing, it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for maintaining heart health.

Additionally, consuming raw fish may help with weight loss by boosting metabolism.


Finally, raw fish is incredibly versatile when it comes to cooking.

It can be sliced into sashimi or used to create sushi rolls or other dishes.

This versatility allows Japanese chefs to get creative with their cuisine and come up with new ways to prepare and serve raw fish. In conclusion, eating raw fish has become deeply ingrained in Japanese culture due to its tradition, taste, health benefits and versatility.

Moreover, it’s important to note that eating raw fish safely requires a fair amount of knowledge specifically about how to identify safe-to-eat species and how best to prepare them which explains why not everybody eats this type of dish on a regular basis.

Raw Fish In Sushi

Best Spicy Tuna Roll Recipe

Sushi is a delectable Japanese cuisine that involves combining cooked rice with various ingredients, such as fish or vegetables, and wrapping them in nori, a type of dried seaweed.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Best Spicy Tuna Roll Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 1067kcal


  • 2 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 tsp of rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 cans of tuna 5-ounce
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise Kewpie is preferred
  • 3 tbsp of Sriracha sauce
  • 1 tsp of spice togarashi
  • 6 sheets of nori seaweed
  • 4 cups of sushi rice divided
  • 1 avocado sliced 1/3 inch thick


  • In a mixing bowl, combine the julienned cucumbers with rice wine vinegar and kosher salt. Toss until well combined.
  • In another mixing bowl, mix the drained tuna, mayonnaise, Sriracha sauce, and togarashi spice (if using).
  • Lay a sheet of nori on a sushi mat, shiny side down.
  • Spread about 2/3 cup of sushi rice over the nori sheet, leaving a 1-inch border at the top edge.
  • Place 1/6 of the cucumber mixture and 1/6 of the tuna mixture on top of the rice, and add a few slices of avocado.
  • Roll the sushi tightly, using the sushi mat to help you. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 6 rolls.
  • Slice each roll into 6-8 pieces and serve with soy sauce and wasabi. Enjoy!



Calories: 1067kcal | Carbohydrates: 200g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 529mg | Potassium: 500mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 212IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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