In an effort to eliminate parasites and bacteria in the raw fish New Yorkers consume, the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced this week that all restaurants serving “raw, undercooked or marinated raw” fish must be frozen for at least 15 hours before being served, according to The New York Times.
The regulation that was approved back in March will go in effect in August. So all your fresh sushi, sashimi, crudo, tartare, ceviche and various other dishes will have spent some time in a cold, cold room before ending up on your plate.
But how fresh is “fresh” if the fish is delivered from overseas?
Yuta Suzuki, the vice president of Sushi Zen, a restaurant located in the Times Square area, tells the Times that his restaurant has been freezing fish anyway.
“We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers,” he says.
That’s some heavy-duty freezing.
The Times alluded to the possibility that the only real change restaurants and diners might face is new guidelines requiring menus to explicitly state that the consumption of raw fish can lead to health issues, similar to those notices about consuming alcohol and undercooked eggs. But this would be the least of our worries considering that so much of our seafood swims our way through illegal means. That salmon you’re about to eat could be a phony with a stolen identity.