Can you Eat Salmon Raw from Grocery Stores?

Can you Eat Salmon Raw from Grocery stores?

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Sushi is gaining popularity at a record pace. This means that hundreds of thousands of people will most likely attempt to make their own sushi at home today versus just a decade ago. It is a healthy food that is not heavy in the stomach and is absolutely delicious!

So can you eat salmon raw from the grocery store? Yes, you can if you can find somewhere on the package that states the fish is safe for raw, sushi or sashimi consumption. If the package doesn’t say that, then look for flash frozen or some type of similar wording. If it says it was frozen then it is also safe for raw consumption.

Salmon is such a popular fish to eat in different types of Japanese foods. Not just in Japan but all over the world. In North America, the sushi business is booming. This means that salmon farms need to produce more and more high-quality fish to meet the demands of the market as people will seek to make their own sushi dishes at home.


Is all Supermarket Fish Frozen?

When researching for this article I discovered that if salmon and other fish are sent to the grocer from afar, then most likely it was frozen. This is to prevent it from spoiling. Supermarkets that provide fresh salmon for instance in Canada, Japan or the USA are a relatively short travel distance from the supplier or fish farm.

This minimizes the chance of spoilage. Proper precautions such as ice packs and a chilled trailer are used to keep the fish as fresh as possible. This not only provides a safer quality of fish but also a tastier one!

When can you eat raw salmon?

You might wonder if it is really safe to eat uncooked salmon. As briefly mentioned above salmon may be eaten raw if it:

  • has been flash frozen. Freezing the salmon for twenty-four or more hours kills any parasites in the fish. This lessens your chance of getting worms.
  • farmed salmon like this can be eaten raw because these fish are less likely to consume infected prey which is how they get worms in the first place. If a (wild) salmon eats infected prey, the salmon will be infected. Then when you eat it, you too become infected.

To expand on the farmed fish point, salmon raised in these farms are raised on pellets made for farmed fish. They are fed until completely full so they grow as quickly as possible. This, in turn, means that they will not be hungry afterward if by chance a stray creature makes it into their inhabitant that could possibly be infected.

Related Article: How To Choose Salmon For Sushi?

Can You Get Sick Eating Raw Salmon?

You can get sick eating raw salmon if the fish is infected or spoiled.

  • If you consume raw salmon that is not farmed you run the risk of getting worms. Most wild fish will contain what is called nematode worms. It is quite common that wild fish have these worms.
  • If you purchase old salmon that has spoiled you will be eating bacteria that will not be of the beneficial variety. You risk stomach poisoning, diarrhea and vomiting. So if the fish smells bad then throw it away. Do not consume it.
  • If you are unlucky enough to contract the disease and get worms just be warned that these types of worms will burrow into your stomach lining.

Undercooked salmon symptoms

If the salmon you prepare is undercooked you might get sick but only if the fish is not farm-raised or if it was spoiled before cooking. This means, undercooking bad fish increases the risk of getting worms or the other issues as mentioned above regarding spoiled fish.

Can you eat frozen salmon raw?

Most definitely. Salmon that has been frozen (even if it was infected before the freezing) should have killed the bad bacteria. If there were any nematode worms they will be dead now. Still not something nice to think about, considering you possibly might be eating frozen worms. The pro to that is you won’t have living worms in your stomach making you sick.

Can you eat salmon from Grocery Store

Below are some related questions to ‘can you eat salmon raw from the grocery store’ I thought would be helpful for you to know as well if you didn’t already know.

Is Salmon Raw in Sushi?

Salmon is raw in most sushi however there are some sushi rolls that feature cooked salmon. Sashimi is mostly sliced raw fish.

How to Prepare Raw Salmon.

Most likely you will be purchasing raw salmon already deboned, gutted with no skin. If that is the case then your preparation will be to use a very sharp knife (best sushi knife) and slice the fish accordingly to the dish you are preparing.

Can you eat Salmon Medium Rare?

If you are cooking salmon then cooking it until medium or medium-rare is the recommended way to prepare. The outside of the fish will be slightly flaky yet the inside will be soft and juicy and full of flavor. When having your salmon cooked most restaurants will suggest you have it prepared like this.

Undercooked Salmon Diarrhea.

Have you ever eaten a meal then shortly afterward your stomach starts grumbling and all of a sudden you have to race to the toilet? If so then you might have picked up a foodborne illness. Having diarrhea or vomiting is the telltale sign. Eating raw and undercooked seafood can easily be the cause of these moments. The best way to avoid this happening is to make sure you cook all seafood, salmon included. If cooking your salmon will ruin your meal then make sure the fish is farmed and or was flash frozen.

Eat Salmon instead of Tuna for Omega 3’s.

Tuna is still very popular because of its protein punch. Interestingly when researching this article I found out that for 100 grams of Salmon there are 2018 mg of Omega 3’s. Tuna, on the other hand, has only 23mg in 100 grams of tuna. That is a huge difference. Salmon for the win!

Separate Raw Salmon from other Foods for Safety.

To avoid cross-contamination and not have bacteria spread from raw seafood to other foods, keep them separate. After handling raw fish and other raw foods wash your hands with soap for twenty to thirty seconds.

Use non-porous surfaces to cut on and make sure to thoroughly wash everything you use in a dishwasher. If you don’t have a dishwasher make sure to use very hot water and anti-bacterial soap when washing and wiping down surfaces. This is for you and your family’s safety. 


While we did cover quite a bit of information about how you could contract a foodborne illness and potentially get worms yourself, eating raw fish from a grocer is usually safe. You now have the knowledge of what to look for on packages of raw salmon. For example, see if you can identify if the fish was farm-raised or if it was flash frozen and safe for sushi style meals. Do your own due diligence and you will ensure having a pleasurable experience making your own sushi, sashimi or other foods.  

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