Farmed Norwegian salmon safe for sushi and sashimi

Published 11.08.2015 | Modified 17.02.2016

Anisakis parasites have never been found in Norwegian farmed salmon intended for human consumption. A study in 2015 confirmed that the risk for such findings is very low. The Norwegian Food Safety Authority (NFSA) therefore considers it safe to eat raw farmed salmon, like in sushi, without prior freezing.

Current regulations imply that fishery products, intended to be consumed raw or almost raw, must undergo freezing before consumption. The objective of this treatment is to kill any parasites possible present in the product. Exemptions from the freezing requirement may apply if certain conditions are fulfilled.

A recent (december 2015) report from The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) in Norway concluded that farmed Atlantic salmon is unlikely to contain Anisakis. The report thus confirmed the conclusion by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2010, based on monitoring data from several salmon producing countries, including Norway - Scientific Opinion on risk assessment of parasites in fishery products frå European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

The absence of Anisakis in farmed salmon is because the fish is exclusively fed on heat treated dry feed, which does not contain any viable parasites.

Based on this information, the NFSA considers it safe to eat raw farmed salmon, like sushi, without freezing prior to consumption. On this background, freezing treatment is not required for farmed salmon intended to be consumed raw.

However, in order to meet all the requirements in the current regulations, food business operators must prove that their fishery products originates from fish farming which complies with certain conditions, to ensure that their fishery products do not present any health hazard regarding live parasites. This provision may be met by information in the commercial document or by any other information following the actual fishery products.

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