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Is Trader Joe’s Salmon Safe to Eat Raw? (Answered)

Is Trader Joe’s Salmon Safe to Eat Raw

Raw fish is incredibly common, with salmon probably being the most common type of fish to eat raw. Raw salmon is how you get the majority of flavor from the fish. So, is Trader Joe’s salmon safe to eat raw?

Salmon is safe to eat raw if it has been flash-frozen. This is because salmon can contain a lot of parasites. If the meat hasn’t been frozen, then it needs to be cooked in order to get rid of the parasites. Therefore, we do urge you to steer clear of unfrozen salmon from Trader Joe’s. Only consume if it says that it is safe to eat raw.

Let’s explain. 

Understanding Raw Salmon

Raw salmon is uncooked salmon. Raw salmon can be fresh, or it can be defrosted and eaten that way.

Raw salmon can be delicious, but it also has a lot of issues. A lot of salmon is not freshly-caught. It is farmed, and this means that the salmon can be riddled with parasites that you really don’t want to be consuming.

This is not to say that salmon is incredibly dangerous when it is raw, but it does have risks, especially for children and pregnant people.

On the other hand, raw salmon is much more nutritious than cooked salmon. You aren’t cooking away all those nutrients, and this means more omega-3 fatty acids (very important), protein, and various vitamins. 

Trader Joe’s Salmon Products

Trader Joe’s sells their Atlantic salmon fresh. It is only sold fresh. At the time of writing, Trader Joe’s also seems to sell a few different types of frozen salmon products.

This does cause a problem, though. It means none of their salmon is made for consuming raw. It is all recommended for cooking.

Now, this is not to say that you can’t consume it raw. We know that there are some people out there that have consumed Trader Joe’s salmon raw with no impact. Although, it isn’t recommended in the slightest.

All of their products are caught in Atlantic Ocean salmon farms, and none of them are labeled as safe to consume raw. 

Safety Concerns With Consuming Raw Salmon

There are a few health risks with consuming raw salmon.

The big one will be salmonella. As you know, salmonella poisoning can be deadly. Thankfully, it isn’t as bad when consuming salmon. It can make you sick, but probably not as sick as eating raw chicken would.

In Trader Joe’s salmon, there is also the risk of Vibrio, which is found in all salmon caught in saltwater. It isn’t present in freshwater salmon, which Trader Joe’s doesn’t stock. 

In addition to this, there can be parasites in the salmon. These can also make you sick. While parasites can appear in all types of fish, they tend to be much more present in farmed fish because of the close proximity they are all living with one another.

Sadly, there isn’t much that can be done to mitigate the risks here. Well, at least outside of cooking.

Freezing the salmon as soon as it is caught will kill the parasites, but it doesn’t really help to freeze at a much later stage. So, you can’t buy fresh salmon from Trader Joe’s and freeze it.

Cooking is the only way to kill the bacteria. Don’t do what some people do and wash the fish. Not only is this not going to kill the bacteria, but it will cause bacteria to get in your sick, which is arguably more dangerous. 

Cooking vs Consuming Raw Salmon

Both cooked salmon and raw salmon will taste completely different. Raw salmon, particularly the type that Trader Joe’s stocks, will have far more of a fishy taste to it. S

ome people enjoy this, but it does mean that you will likely want to be eating that salmon in smaller quantities i.e. as sushi, or shaved salmon in a salad.

We have already covered the fact that cooked salmon is going to lower your risk of foodborne illnesses. However, this isn’t the only reason why cooked salmon is the way to go.

If you consume salmon with the intention of losing weight, then you will be pleased to know that cooking salmon releases a certain enzyme. This enzyme helps to boost fat burning.

In our opinion, you should cook salmon wherever possible. It’s just safer. 

Consumer Attitudes Toward Raw Salmon

Consumer attitudes toward raw salmon have changed. A lot of people are more than happy to consume raw salmon because of the increase in the popularity of sushi.

Just a couple of decades ago, nobody would have even considered eating raw salmon, at least here in the US.

Outside of the US, raw salmon is frequently consumed. It is a delicacy in Scandinavian countries and, of course, in Japan. Although, oddly, Japan didn’t consume much in the way of salmon until it became popular in the US.

Of course, the US hasn’t quite got to that point where we know how to create great raw salmon. Eat freshly caught raw salmon, that’s fine. When it is shipped from elsewhere without being frozen, not so great!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Eat Raw Salmon From Trader Joe’s?

No. Their salmon should not be consumed raw. It is only for cooking. Their product packaging explicitly states that it needs to be cooked.

Can You Eat Trader Joe’s Fish Raw?

Unless fish has been specially labeled as being safe to consume raw, then you should not consume it raw. None of the fish products sold in Trader Joe’s are for eating raw. 

Final Thoughts

You should not consume raw salmon from Trader Joe’s. It has not been prepared in a way that makes it safe to consume raw.

Cooked salmon has more benefits, anyway. It makes it easier to lose weight, although you are losing some of the nutrients. Although, on the other hand, you will be eliminating the risk of parasites and bacteria. 


Shane is a fitness enthusiast who also has a passion for trying and cooking new foods. His favorite stores to shop at include Trader Joe's, Wholefoods Market, Sprouts, Stater Brothers, and Target.

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