Cooking Salmon Safely

How can you cook salmon safely in the Anova cooker when the USDA says that to cook salmon safely is by cooking to an internal temperature of 145. Yet the salmon recipes on the Anova site call for a temperature of 115-125. Wouldn’t this be dangerously undercooked and leave the diner to open to infection, parasites and or disease?

Thanks in advance for your help.

All the best,
Ted Sudol

Ted, you are only getting part of the storey from the USDA, it’s really a matter of both time and temperature. They say that because the salmon only has to be at that temperature for an instant to achieve total microbiological cell death. They are trying to keep to just the basics for the general public. They go into a lot more detail at their site. Lower temperatures can achieve almost similar outcomes over a long enough time but it gets too complicated for the average home cook.

I believe the Anova salmon recipes are safe enough for most folks. I prefer to consume just-caught wild or frozen fish that’s been kept frozen for at least a day.

Frozen salmon can be safely cooked at those lower recipe temperatures as freezing kills parasites. Your nose will warn you of an infected or diseased fish. If it stinks don’t eat it. When you thaw fish leave it in its original packaging under refrigeration. If the package puffs up as it thaws something’s seriously wrong with the fish.

If you are very concerned or immune-compromised you should probably avoid consuming all low-temperature cooked fish along with sushi, gravlax, salmon tartar, and cold-smoked salmon. Otherwise, SV enhances a fish’s true taste and texture and it can be an exceptional dining experience for you.

Thanks for your very helpful and complete answer. I brought the salmon back with me that I purchased directly from the fisherman in Alaska and had processed there - cut, vacuum sealed, and flash frozen. So I am sure of its purity. However I do have an immune condition so perhaps I was being overly cautious.I’ll be doing the sous vide cooking. Sounds delicious. I didn’t know that about the USDA regulations so I’ll go there for the complete story.

All the best,

My pleasure Ted. To save you searching through the USDA morass i suggest you download Dr. Doug Baldwin’s work on SV cookery and see his fish information with associated temperature and time tables.

Your salmon is going to be delicious. I think you are right to be cautious, we all should be. Each of us needs to select our individual degree of risk and stay within appropriate boundaries.

Keep well and happy cooking.

@tedsudol, hi. I hope you enjoyed the salmon.

The link to Douglas Baldwin’s online book is an important one, not just for fish, but for all of the safety information behind sous vide cooking. Very much worth bookmarking.

Baldwin’s work is what many governments have based their food safety regulations on. It goes through pasteurisation, storage and a bunch of other things. Sort of the Sous Vide Bible.

Happy eating.

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Or, to be on the safe side, you could set the water temperature to your desired level. You don’t have to follow the guidelines on the app, you know :wink:

120F/49C for two hours.

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That looks like a beautiful piece of sockeye. How was it? We need details.

Note to Ted: i saw yesterday a huge thick cloud of farmed salmon guts being released into the Fraser River, the largest salmon spawning river in western Canada. Now all the wild salmon swimming through that mess are at risk of the contamination and parasites of farmed salmon.

What are we doing to our planet?
Be careful.

Am i the only one noticing micro bits of plastic when i dissolve sea salt? They are indigestible, even indestructible, and a potential cause of cancer in our GI system.
I have switched to cooking only with Kosher or Himalayan pink salt.

Be very careful.

I haven’t noticed the plastic bits in my sea salt, but perhaps I’m not paying great attention. Will do the next time I sprinkle some on my meal. That’s concerning.

I doubt you will see thoee “foreign objects” on your meat, Alyssa. They are very small, not even a mm, and white, very hard to see until you dissolve a fair amount of sea salt in water, as in preparing a brine for a pork butt or a turkey. Even boiling water won’t dissolve them. I started noticing them last summer. I read that the French have noticed it in their sea salt beds.

So i have stoped using sea salt when i cure salmon for smoking or gravlax, - to get back on topic, - sort of.

I was experimenting with salmon lately and i came across blog, follow these 7 steps to sous vide salmon and you are safe.