Look, we love sushi just as much as the next guy. We'll be the first to tell any naysayers that raw fish is delicious. But here's the thing — in order to be delicious and enjoyable, you need to make sure the raw seafood you're eating is safe.
After all, the fact remains that not all types of seafood can be safely eaten raw. Plus, while certain types of fish like yellowfin tuna and salmon are common on a sushi menu, not all tuna and salmon that you buy can be safely eaten raw. So, how do you know what's fair game?
First, let's talk about the types of seafood that can be eaten raw. Here are a few common types of fish eaten raw: seabass, swordfish, salmon, trout, mackerel, tuna and salmon. Other types of seafood, like shrimp, crab, scallops, eel and octopus are also widely and safely eaten raw. But — and we cannot stress this enough — the safety depends hugely on the type you buy.
However, before we get into that, let's talk about a few types of seafood that you never, ever want to eat raw. For starters: pollock. While this mild white fish is delicious cooked, it can also make you quite sick. Instead of taking the risk, cook it to a safe temperature and enjoy it that way.
Also best to avoid eating raw: haddock, which can also make you sick. Even if you can find the highest quality pollock and haddock, it's just not worth the risk.
Now, how do you know what type of fish to buy for safe raw consumption?
Luckily, this question has a simple answer — simply look for the designation of "sushi grade" on your fish or seafood before you make the decision to eat it raw. The label of sushi grade means the fish was first frozen at a very low temperature. This helps limit food borne illness risks. Of course, eating fish that was wild-caught and sustainably sourced is also an important factor.
It's important to remember that, even with seafood labeled as sushi grade, eating raw fish is always more of a risk than eating cooked fish. Just make sure you're choosing the best quality fish for the best possible raw seafood eating experience.