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Foods -- Seafood

Can acid be added to raw fish to make them safe to eat?

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The practice of adding an acid to fish to be make it safe to eat is not uncommon. The product resulting from this process is called ceviche. Technically, one can add acid to fish to decrease its bacterial load. However, there is no guarantee that adequate numbers of harmful bacteria will be destroyed. At present, there are no consumer guidelines available about how to safely use acid as a means to preserve raw fish in this manner. In the mean time, one follow these guidelines.

Many consumers enjoy raw or lightly marinated seafood products such as sashimi, sushi, ceviche, gravlax, cold-smoked fish and raw shellfish. Eating raw seafood (and raw meat, poultry, or dairy products), has a greater food safety risk than eating properly cooked products. Follow these tips to reduce this risk: * Use commercially frozen fish for making sashimi, sushi, ceviche, gravlax, or cold-smoked fish. Freezing seafood to -31ºF for 15 hours or to -10ºF for seven days eliminates risk from parasites that may be present in the fish. * Be certain that clams, oysters, and mussels come from certified shellfish growing waters. Refrigerate until use.

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