With the rise in popularity of sushi, many have become concerned about the safety of this dish, especially due to the use of raw ingredients like fish and other seafood. Although this cuisine is heavily regulated and expert chefs work to ensure safety in its preparation, dangers of sushi still exist. Look into the risks before enjoying a sushi meal.
Dangers of Sushi
Eating raw fish without careful preparation can leave you susceptible to foodborne illnesses. To combat this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that fish served raw remain froze for seven days at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, or for 15 hours in a blast freezer at -31 degrees before being served. Freezing kills any parasites present in the fish, but it doesn’t eliminate all harmful microorganisms, so a slight remains when eating sushi.
The Dangers of Sushi With Puffer Fish
One of the most dangerous ingredients in sushi is the puffer fish, or fugu in Japanese. The blowfish can be toxic if prepared incorrectly. A deadly neurotoxin is found in lethal amounts in the fish, but not in the meat.
These toxins can contaminate the meat if a sushi chef doesn’t prepare the fugu perfectly. A special knife, called a fugu hiki, must be used to gather as much safe meat as possible.
Only licensed chefs in Japan are allowed to prepare the dish, and most people who take the examination to become licensed don’t pass. These strict requirements help to ensure the utmost safety.
Although not recommended, if you plan on consuming fugu in the United States, the meat must be prepared by a licensed fugu chef in Japan, and then frozen while shipped to the U.S.
Diet Dangers: Healthy Eating Concerns With Sushi
Most sushi ingredients are low calorie and loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and other aspects. Some types of sushi do include ingredients that may cause issues for people on strict diets.
A few sushi ingredients to be cautious with:
• Eel. It’s often packed with sodium.
• Soy sauce. Use it sparingly, as it has a high salt content.
• Sushi rolls with mayonnaise or cream cheese, like Philadelphia rolls, often include saturated fat.
The importance of shari, or Japanese rice, is notable because the small rice pellets are generally healthier. The key to eating sushi and staying healthy is to enjoy any high-fat and high-sodium ingredients in moderation.