can costco salmon be eaten raw

If you love everything you find at Costco, you may wonder, Can Costco salmon be eaten raw?”

Costco has become famous for its low prices on a wide variety of items. But, hold on, how about some food? How about the fish from Costco?

While you do not need to worry about eating cooked fish, it is natural to feel concerned about eating it raw.

But, does salmon fall into the same category? And can you eat Costco salmon raw?

Yes, you can enjoy Costco salmon raw, but it is still a good idea to cook it properly if you are not in a hurry.

Fact: Costco has been in business since 1976 and started as "Prince Club", and eventually was re-founded as Costco in 1983. 

Can Costco Salmon be Eaten Raw or Not?

costco salmon be eaten raw

No matter how you prepare it—grill, bake, or eat it raw—Salmon is a nutritious and delicious option.

It is natural to worry about the health risks associated with eating raw salmon, despite its delicious flavor.

Well, here’s some good news: properly prepared and stored raw salmon is perfectly safe to eat.

Sashimi and other forms of raw salmon are staples in the sushi cuisine of Japan and are enjoyed around the world.

The Nordic areas are home to a delicious delicacy called gravlax, made from raw fish, sugar, salt, and dill.

Can You Eat Raw Salmon from Costco Safely?

Whether or not it is safe to consume raw Costco salmon is a topic of some discussion.

But, in most cases, you do not have to worry about anything when you eat raw fish at Costco. 

raw salmon sashimi

Why are People Concerned about Costco Salmon?

Costco has made headlines recently for selling salmon tainted with harmful bacteria.

Costco immediately recalled the potentially affected products. And it also encouraged customers who have already purchased them to bring them back for a full refund.

Meanwhile, health authorities recommend that you stop eating raw salmon immediately.

If you decide to consume salmon, it is important to cook it properly to kill any bacteria.

Fact: You can find more than 785 Costco stores in the US, with 240 international locations.   

What Makes People Skeptical about Eating Raw Salmon?

people eating salmon

Parasites and germs pose the biggest threat to people who eat raw salmon.

And it is quite natural to feel concerned about becoming infected while trying to be adventurous with raw food.

The danger of becoming infected is higher in farmed salmon than in wild-caught salmon, although it is present in both.

Some people believe that because Costco salmon is frozen, you can eat it raw.

The truth is that freezing is certainly a good way to kill parasites, but it is ineffective against bacteria.

Consult a medical expert if you have any concerns about eating raw salmon, whether it comes from Costco or elsewhere.

Should You Eat Raw Costco Salmon?

eat raw salmon

You know it is okay to eat Costco salmon in raw form, but the real question is, “should you be doing it?”

Well, that is up to you, isn’t it? There is nothing we can do to direct you.

As mentioned already, many dishes, like sushi and gravlax, have raw salmon as a key ingredient.

It would be a disservice to the meal and the local food culture to cook the salmon, especially in a traditional sushi dish. 

Who Should Avoid Eating Raw Costco Salmon?

No matter where you buy it, you should avoid eating raw salmon in certain cases.

avoid raw salmon

You should avoid it during pregnancy because it puts your unborn baby at risk. 

Similarly, you should not eat raw salmon if you are a child, an older adult, or a person with liver disease.

Those with compromised immunity, living with diabetes, or carrying a transplanted organ may also want to keep raw salmon out of their diets.

Basically, you need to understand that infections that most healthy people can shake off easily can be devastating for those with weakened or developing immune systems.  

What can Go Wrong When Eating Raw Costco Salmon?

what can go wrong eating salmon

If you are otherwise healthy, you should not worry about eating Costco salmon raw.

That being said, there is always a chance of contamination, no matter how strictly manufacturers adhere to all food safety standards.

And turns out, you cannot always blame the food people, either.  Viruses, bacteria and parasites are all living organisms.

And as we all learned from “Jurassic Park,” “Life, um…. finds a way.” 

What are the Potential Health Risks of Eating Salmon Raw?

When it comes to parasites, the FDA says salmon is a sure bet.

Parasites like Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, a type of helminth, are quite frequent in salmon.

Similarly, tapeworms are common in many different types of fish, including salmon.

parasites in raw food

The Risk of Parasitic Infections

Diaphyllobothriasis is a parasite infection that can occur in humans.

Nausea, unexpected weight loss, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are all possible side effects. It is not pleasant, so it is advisable to stay away.

The Risk of Food Poisoning

Salmonella is one of the most well-known food poisoning bacteria, and can be found in spoiled salmon.

Fish can cause two distinct types of food poisoning: scombroid and ciguatera.

Symptoms of ciguatera poisoning might include numbness, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, changes in body temperature, headache, and a metallic taste in the tongue.

food poisoning risks

On the other hand, Scombroid poisoning symptoms include vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea.

In addition to the notorious party crasher salmonella, other bacteria and viruses are also present in raw salmon.

Some of them include:

  • Vibrio
  • Shigella
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Escherichia coli
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Hepatitis A 

Is It Okay to Eat Undercooked Salmon?

No, you should not.

Salmon is generally safe to eat, both when cooked and when eaten raw.

What about salmon that is neither pink nor red? This is a prime cut of dangerous meat.

undercooked salmon

Ensure the internal temperature of the salmon reaches at least 145F before serving. 

The reason is that temperatures between 40F and 140F are optimal for the growth of the vast majority of infectious microorganisms.

So, every bite of undercooked salmon is a crapshoot for your future hygienic comfort levels.

Do yourself a favor and just do not eat it.

Tip: The key to retaining freshness is correct storage, but in most cases, salmon will stay in the refrigerator for up to two days. 

How to Know When Raw Costco Salmon is Not Safe to Eat?

raw salmon not safe

You know your salmon has gone bad when it is no longer pleasant to eat and may not even be safe to consume.

Salmon spoils via poor treatment, bad storage, bacterial growth, or simply plain old age.

Here is what you should consider: 

Check Its Appearance

Stale or rotten salmon typically has a grey color instead of the bright-pink hue you find on fresh salmon.   

The salmon may have a black spotty appearance and possibly mold or other white filmy remnants, making it look even less attractive.

If you are analyzing a whole salmon, you can tell a lot about it beyond its color just by looking at its eyes.

check appearance

For example, if it is rotten, you may notice that its eyes look filmy or sunken.

Do not forget to consider the contours. Is there a tiny bend in the salmon, or is it perfectly straight? A curve usually represents it has gone bad. 

Consider Its Texture

You may also consider the texture of salmon if you cannot tell from its appearance only.

Indent the filet with your finger and lift it out. Is there any “spring back” in the flesh? Do you get a firm impression? Your filet may be spoiled if you don’t.

Salmon that has gone bad will have a texture that is either very crumbly or very mushy.

And another sign of spoiling is the presence of sticky or slimy residues when touching your fish. 

Notice the Smell

observe smell of salmon

The smell of rotten salmon is typically a telltale sign. When fresh, it should not have any discernible odor.  

The fish with the strongest “fishy” odor are the nasty ones.

Do yourself a favor and dump your salmon if you take a smell and detect any indications of ammonia, or anything sour or rancid, beyond the typical “fishy” aroma.

Fact: The flavor of properly stored raw salmon should be light, fresh, and definitely fishy without being overbearing.


Can Costco salmon be eaten raw? Well, you already know the answer. Yes, you can, but should you really be doing it?

It is better to cook it perfectly before eating, especially if you are not experienced enough to tell if raw salmon is fresh or already spoiled.