Whether you love lox or are serious about your sushi, seafood is a healthy addition to many diets. Loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and protein, eating seafood has been linked to increased longevity, better heart health, and weight loss. However, before ordering your next seafood meal, there is a relevant question you should ask your server to avoid serious illness, according to the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA). Read on to find out what question you should ask and how to protect yourself.
RELATED: If You’re Over 65, Never Eat This Kind of Cheese, Says Mayo Clinic.
If you are ordering raw seafood, like sushi, oysters, ceviche, or tuna tartare, at a restaurant, you should always check with your server about how it has been preserved before serving, recommend. the FDA. Specifically, the authority says anyone ordering raw seafood should ask if the food they order has been frozen, thawed and kept on ice.
“Some species of fish may contain parasites, and freezing will kill any parasites that may be present,” says the FDA. However, the agency notes that not all pathogens are killed when a piece of fish is frozen, so eating fully cooked seafood is always a safer bet.
The FDA notes that this is also best practice when selecting fresh whole fish or shrimp in a restaurant or store. “Only buy fish refrigerated or displayed on a thick bed of fresh ice (preferably in a case or under some type of blanket),” the agency recommends.
To receive the latest food safety news straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter!
While learning about how the raw seafood you eat has been stored is a step in the right direction, there are additional steps you can take to ensure your health and safety.
When your food arrives, the FDA recommends making sure it is still cold. “If he warmed up before being served, that’s not sure!” warns the authority.
No matter how strong your craving for sushi, some groups would be wise to avoid all raw or undercooked seafood.
The FDA notes that the elderly, the immunocompromised, children, and pregnant people should avoid raw or undercooked seafood because members of these groups “are at greater risk of foodborne illness and are also more likely to have a longer illness, to be hospitalized, or even to die. ”Members of these groups should also avoid refrigerated smoked seafood, such as lox or kipper herring, unless they are were used as an ingredient in a dish that was then cooked, such as a casserole dish.
While raw fish that has reached room temperature or is getting hot is always dangerous, it’s not the only sign that you shouldn’t be eating a particular piece of raw or lightly cooked seafood.
The FDA notes that raw seafood should be discarded immediately if it emits a noticeable odor. Also, if you are bringing home raw leftover seafood, it is important to refrigerate them within two hours and consume them within 24 hours of preparation to limit the potential for bacterial growth.
RELATED: 7 Foods You Should Never Put In Your Slow Cooker.