Cold smoking salmon safety

Discussion in 'Fish' started by bbqexaminer, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. I cannot find anything definitive. One source says that after smoking around 70-80 degrees to bring the heat up to 150 for 30 minutes to kill any bacteria.

    UC Davis says to freeze them at -10 deg for a week but quickly adds that most home freezers don't go this low. That's real helpful.

    Some other sources make no mention of a problem, but if there are fish, regardless of the cure, exposed for more than 2-4 hours at 80 degrees I'd be concerned. I've done lox but in less than 2 hours so no worries.

    What say the experts?
  2. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    After a salt cure or brine which is typical for cold smoke salmon you don't have to much to worry about in the way of bacteria due to the salt content. The reason to freeze is to kill parasites known to inhabit salmon and specifically wild salmon. Are the salmon frozen before arriving at your local megamart? Not sure. I suspect some are and some go from water or water farm to store without being frozen. If you ask the guy behind the counter, they will tell you it's fresh. I don't freeze as most of my salmon I cold smoke is farmed. Not to say that there is no risk but that's what I do. I have frozen sides of salmon but it was mostly due to not being able to use it in an appropriate time frame.
  3. "They will tell you it is fresh." Ain't that the truth! Here on the Left Coast this year Kings and Silvers are practically non-existent, so for fresh it's Chums which are "OK" and those are fresh. I reluctantly buy the Atlantics now as that's what's available mostly. I use TQ as well in the brine. Thanks for the response--hope you're right[​IMG]
  4. scubadoo97

    scubadoo97 Smoking Fanatic

    If you are uncomfortable with the risk then freeze. But you have to freeze it for a sufficient time or you won't kill all the parasites.

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