Raw Fish Must Be Frozen First at New York City Restaurants, Says Health Department

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New regulation mandates that raw fish must be frozen before being served as sushi, sashimi, and ceviche
Frozen Raw Fish

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New York City restaurants are now required to freeze their raw fish before serving it to customers.

Though raw fish tastes good in sushi and ceviche, there is always a risk of foodborne illness because the fish might contain parasites. One way to ensure the safety of raw fish is to freeze the product before serving it to customers. Now, all New York City restaurants are legally required to do so.

Back in February, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene considered ruling that all raw fish needed to be kept frozen until it was served. The regulation states that in August, raw fish must be stored in a freezer for at least 15 hours to one week, depending on the restaurant’s freezer and storage. Not all seafood will need to be frozen: Shellfish, farm-raised fish, and some varieties of tuna are exempt from the ruling.

But this is not a new concept for some New York City restaurants — especially those that offer high-quality sushi. The New York Times reported that Masa and Sushi Yasuda have been freezing their fish for a while.

In 2016, restaurants will need to state on menus that consuming raw and undercooked foods can be dangerous to one’s health.  

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