NYC Restaurants are Required to Freeze Raw Fish

sashimi-resizedSushi restaurants have lured gourmands by boasting of the freshest fish. But with new regulations, published by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, restaurants are required that fish served raw, undercooked or marinated raw are to be frozen first to guard against parasites. This regulations has been approved by the Board of Health and will be set to take effect in August. The Health Department regulation is that fish will be required a minimum freezer storage time of anywhere from 15 hours to a week depending not eh temperatures and storage process.

Though customers might be distasteful at their “fresh” fish coming from a freezer, the truth is that many chefs in NYC’s top restaurants have long used frozen fish to prevent serving their raw fare with a side of pathogens. “We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers, this way it’s kind of like cooking, but instead of using heat we use freezing to remove parasites or bacteria on the outer surface.” says Yuta Suzuki, vice president of Sushi Zen. Even with these public regulations, because many restaurants have already been utilizing freezing as a method of pasteurizing, chefs believe it won’t take too much effect on their process of cooking. Moreover, frozen fish are free of parasites, and also cheaper, available out of season and sometimes even tastier.

To read more on NYC’s new regulations on Raw fish, click here

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