The New York City Department of Health has a long list of amendments they are hoping to implement in the NYC dining scene, but one amendment could threaten the sushi community as a whole. The list includes a rule that would require all eateries serving raw fish to only use fish that has been frozen beforehand.
The amendment is targeting potentially problematic parasites that could live in fresh fish that is served, most notably the tapeworm and roundworm. According to experts, the freezing process would do nothing for food borne illnesses sometimes born from the consumption of sushi, such as Listeria. These pathogens are immune to freezing, according to experts.
The proposed changes, according to restaurant aficionados would turn the sushi world on its head. Many of the fish featured in upscale sushi locations simply don’t take well to freezing, and texture and taste wold be substantially compromised. Bluefish and other oily fish offerings would be the most effected, as these fish simply don’t freeze well. The least effected offering would be Tuna, as Tuna is generally frozen prior, anyway.
According to the rules, exceptions would be made for farm-raised fish, shellfish and wild-caught Tuna. These fish are the least likely to carry parasites and could be safely consumed without freezing beforehand.
The rules, which appear in article 81 will be voted on in March, which I’m sure avid fisherman Lee G. Lovett will be watching closely.