New York Ponders Raw Fish Rules

New York considers requiring raw fish to be kept frozen
Wikimedia/Milko Krachounov

The Department of Health is considering making New York restaurants freeze all fish that will be served raw to prevent parasites. 

The New York Department of Health is reportedly pondering new standards that would require all fish for sushi and ceviche to be frozen, and some restaurateurs are not happy about it.

According to Gothamist, the new rule would state that all fish meant to be served raw--as sushi or ceviche or seafood tartare, for example--would have to be kept frozen until it was served. Wild tuna and farm-raised fish would be exempt.

The goal of the new regulation would be to prevent parasites, which can’t survive the freezing process. The New York State Restaurant Association says that requiring sushi fish to be kept frozen until serving would reportedly mean that a lot of smaller restaurants would have to buy expensive new freezers. Because freezing could change the texture of certain fish, the new regulation would also reportedly affect service at high-end restaurants.

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“This affects the high-end restaurants like Marea and Le Bernardin that specialize in seafood, and the sushi restaurants like Nobu," said Chris Hickey, NYC regional director of the New York State Restaurant Association.