Consumption of raw fish

  1. Fish, when eaten raw, must be very fresh. Even so, it may still carry some residual risk due to viruses, bacteria, parasites and toxins that could evade controls, no matter how accurate, since it is obviously impossible to control every single fish. Even when the fish is freshly caught, it cannot be absolutely certain that it poses no danger.
  2. Lemon juice is able to carry out a mild antibacterial action but it is not able to “disinfect” the raw fish. The use of lemon juice must therefore be regarded only as a way to improve the taste.
  3. Marinating fish products (with salt and lemon or vinegar and salt) is not enough to kill microorganisms. To do so, the marination should be so strong (so much salty and sour) that it would make the food uneatable.
  4. Drinking wine during the consumption of raw seafood does not help to remove pathogenic microorganisms.
  5. Be very careful when you eat raw bivalve molluscs: since they have the characteristic of feeding by filtering the water and withholding the particles in suspension, they can concentrate viruses, bacteria and algal toxins.
  6. Older people, sick people, children and pregnant women should avoid the consumption of raw fish.
  7. Eat raw fish carefully if you are in countries where healthcare and food control measures are not as efficient as in Europe, especially in countries with a hot climate.
  8. Only rely on professionals (retailers, restaurateurs) who are able to effectively perform the controls required by law.
  9. Freezing the fish in order to ensure the safety of products that have to be consumed raw, does not spoil the fish, if carried out properly (Blast chilling, slow defrosting).
  10. Always remember that in this field no total certainty can exist.