You’re choosing a restaurant for dinner. Someone suggests your local sushi hut. You wonder if you should agree. You like seafood, but is it really safe to eat raw fish? Isn’t that risky? Fortunately, your Hawaii fishing charter company hears this question a lot and is here to help.
Here’s an overview to help you better understand the ins and outs of eating raw fish. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact your local Hawaii fishing charter service for answers.
Not all fish are suitable for eating raw. When you purchase raw seafood, it has been carefully selected, stored and prepared to avoid risk. If you order sushi or other seafood, these dishes may contain salmon, trout, tuna, sea bass, mackerel, swordfish, flatfish, scallop, shrimp, octopus, crab, clams, squid, eel, sea bream and abalone, among others.
Some fish contain higher levels of mercury than others. Keep this in mind as you consume fish, raw or cooked. Swordfish and king mackerel have some of the highest levels of mercury, so you may want to make a different selection if you choose to consume raw fish.
The fish with the lowest risk of causing food-borne illness are best. When it comes to raw fish, certain types of tuna win this contest. Varieties such as yellowfin, northern bluefin, bigeye tuna and albacore don’t need to be frozen before serving and offer low risk of causing illness.
What to Buy
If you want to purchase fish to serve raw, look for fish products that are labeled “sushi-grade.” This means the fish has been pretreated to reduce the risk of foodborne illness. Watch for packages that have been damaged or where ice crystals or frost are present. Do not buy these. Make sure your purchases have been properly stored below the frost line of the freezer and are within their “sell by” period.
What to Do
Have you chosen your favorite fish to serve raw? If you’re preparing a raw fish meal rather than eating at your local sushi bar, be sure to take proper precautions with your preparations. Thaw the frozen product in the refrigerator. Always keep it refrigerated until ready to serve. Never thaw it on the counter, as this will increase the risk of foodborne illness.
What to Know
Keep in mind that eating cooked fish is always safer than eating raw fish. However, when done properly, eating raw fish can also be safe. To learn more about the best varieties available in your area, contact your Hawaii fishing charter service.
Now that you know how to safely partake of raw or cooked fish, it’s time to bring home your next meal! Contact your Hawaii fishing charters to schedule your next excursion. At Sea Wife Charters, we bring over 20 years of experience to every trip. You’ll benefit from the in-depth knowledge of our guides and enjoy a unique and exciting experience. Contact our team today with any questions or to schedule your trip.