Canned salmon is a convenient and affordable way to add protein and omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. However, there are concerns about the safety of consuming canned salmon, especially when it comes to the risk of food poisoning.
With conflicting information available online, it can be difficult to know whether or not canned salmon is safe to eat. In this article, we’ll explore the potential risks associated with canned salmon and provide tips on how to safely consume this popular seafood option.
So, can canned salmon make you sick? Let’s find out.
Can Canned Salmon Make You Sick?
There are a few potential risks associated with consuming canned salmon. One concern is the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which are industrial toxins that can have negative health effects on your immune, nervous, and endocrine systems. PCBs are more prevalent in farmed salmon, which is why it’s important to choose wild-caught salmon from a reputable brand when opting for canned salmon.
Another risk is the possibility of food poisoning. While there isn’t any scientific evidence that shows you can get sick from canned salmon, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with consuming spoiled or improperly stored canned salmon. If you spot a leakage or bulging in the can of your salmon, it’s best to discard it as there are great chances that bacteria and other microbes would have already found their way to your canned salmon and would have spoiled it.
In the improperly stored salmon, bacteria can produce scombroid toxin and this toxin does not even get killed when the salmon is cooked. The ingestion of salmon that has this toxin can result in Scombroid poisoning that is characterized by nausea, vomiting, flushing, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headache. Other symptoms of Scombroid poisoning may include itching, hives, burning sensation in the mouth, and fever.
The Benefits Of Canned Salmon
Despite the potential risks associated with consuming canned salmon, there are also many benefits to be had. Canned salmon is an excellent source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and a variety of essential vitamins and minerals. Omega-3 fatty acids, in particular, are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their ability to boost heart health. They have been linked to decreased risks associated with cardiovascular disease and have been used to support the reduction of cholesterol and blood pressure.
In addition to its omega-3 content, canned salmon is also a rich source of vitamin D, with 122 percent of the daily value in just 3 ounces. Getting enough vitamin D can be difficult for people who don’t live in sunny climates, but eating foods like salmon can help you get the amount you need to absorb calcium and maintain strong bones and teeth. Canned salmon is also a rich source of B vitamins, especially niacin (B-3), and cobalamin (B-12). These vitamins benefit skin and nerves and help your body make red blood cells.
Another benefit of canned salmon is its convenience. Canned salmon is easy to store, has a long shelf life, and can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. It’s also an affordable option for those who want to incorporate more seafood into their diet without breaking the bank.
The Risks Of Consuming Canned Salmon
Consuming canned salmon poses some risks that individuals should be aware of. One of the main concerns is the potential presence of PCBs, which are industrial toxins that can have negative health effects on various systems in the body. While farmed salmon is more likely to contain PCBs, it’s still important to choose wild-caught salmon from a reputable brand when opting for canned salmon.
Another risk associated with canned salmon is the possibility of food poisoning. Although there is no scientific evidence to suggest that canned salmon can make you sick, it’s essential to be aware of the risks associated with consuming spoiled or improperly stored canned salmon. If you notice any bulging or leakage in the can of your salmon, it’s best to discard it as bacteria and other microbes may have already contaminated it.
Improperly stored canned salmon can also lead to the production of scombroid toxin, which is not killed during cooking. Ingesting salmon that contains this toxin can result in scombroid poisoning, which is characterized by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, flushing, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, headache, itching, hives, burning sensation in the mouth, and fever.
Understanding Food Poisoning And Canned Salmon
When it comes to canned salmon, there are a few types of food poisoning that you should be aware of. One of them is Scombroid poisoning, which is caused by consuming fish that has not been stored properly. Scombroid poisoning occurs when bacteria convert histidine to histamine due to inadequate refrigeration or preservation. This toxin can form even if the fish has only been temporarily stored at too high a temperature. The symptoms of Scombroid poisoning include nausea, vomiting, flushing, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, and headache. Other symptoms may include itching, hives, burning sensation in the mouth, and fever.
Another type of food poisoning you can get from eating fish is Ciguatera poisoning. This is caused by consuming fish that has been contaminated with ciguatoxin, which is produced by a type of algae. The symptoms of Ciguatera poisoning include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms can progress to headache, muscle aches, and itchy, tingly, or numbness of the skin. One early sign can be numbness of the lips, tongue, or area around the mouth.
It’s important to note that while there isn’t any scientific evidence that shows you can get sick from canned salmon specifically, it’s still important to be aware of the risks associated with consuming spoiled or improperly stored canned salmon. This is because bacteria can produce toxins such as scombrotoxin in improperly stored salmon. This toxin does not get killed when the salmon is cooked and can result in Scombroid poisoning.
To reduce your risk of exposure to food poisoning from canned salmon, it’s important to choose wild-caught salmon from a reputable brand and avoid cans that show signs of leakage or bulging. Additionally, it’s important to store canned salmon properly and discard any cans that have passed their expiration date or show signs of spoilage. By following these guidelines, you can safely enjoy the many health benefits of canned salmon without putting your health at risk.
How To Safely Consume Canned Salmon
If you choose to consume canned salmon, it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure that it’s safe to eat. First and foremost, make sure that the salmon is properly cooked. Canned salmon is already cooked, so all you need to do is drain the liquid and it’s ready to eat or add to your favorite dish. However, if you plan on using canned salmon in a recipe that requires further cooking, make sure that it reaches a safe internal temperature of 145°F.
It’s also important to check the expiration date on the can before consuming canned salmon. Canned salmon typically has a shelf life of two years, so if the can is expired, it’s best to toss it out. Additionally, give the salmon a smell test before eating it. If it smells fishy or off, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
Another important consideration is the storage of canned salmon. It’s recommended to store canned salmon in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight. Avoid storing it in hot or humid areas such as near the stove or in the pantry. Once opened, refrigerate any unused portion of canned salmon immediately and consume within two days.
Lastly, don’t forget about the soft, calcium-rich bones found in canned salmon! Mash them with a fork and incorporate them into your dish for added nutrition. By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the convenience and health benefits of canned salmon without worrying about potential risks.
Tips For Storing And Cooking Canned Salmon
If you’re looking to enjoy canned salmon without worrying about illness, there are some tips to keep in mind when storing and cooking it:
1. Choose high-quality canned salmon: When purchasing canned salmon, opt for a reputable brand that sources wild-caught salmon. This can reduce the risk of PCBs and other contaminants.
2. Check the can for damage: Before purchasing canned salmon, inspect the can for any signs of damage or bulging. If you notice any issues, it’s best to choose another can.
3. Store canned salmon properly: Unopened canned salmon can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for up to three years. Once opened, transfer the salmon to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze canned salmon for up to 3 months.
4. Thaw frozen canned salmon safely: If you’re thawing frozen canned salmon, do so in the fridge overnight or use cold running water to thaw it quickly. Avoid leaving it out on your countertop as bacteria can grow at room temperature.
5. Cook canned salmon thoroughly: When cooking canned salmon, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 145°F (63°C) to kill any potential bacteria or toxins.
By following these tips, you can safely enjoy delicious and nutritious canned salmon without worrying about getting sick.