In recent years, some diners have been getting squeamish over consuming raw fish with tapeworm infections on the rise. Most of them stem from an accumulation of parasites and bacteria in the gut from consuming uncooked meat and seafood. In December 2015, the National Environment Agency banned the sale of raw freshwater fish in all food establishments here in Singapore.. These fishes include toman (snakehead) and song fish (Asian bighead carp) that are typically eaten with Chinese porridge. This was sparked by an outbreak of Group B streptococcus bacteria infections. With the ban still enforced, some eateries and restaurants have been permitted to sell raw saltwater fishes, such as ikan parang and salmon.
At Crystal Jade Restaurant, its takeaway yusheng sets (left) comprise packs of raw salmon slices that are vacuumed-packed and frozen fresh. Upon collection, an additional ice pack is provided. The restaurant also advises diners to consume the salmon immediately or within two hours. Diners also have the option of replacing salmon slices with baby abalone.
Golden Peony’s executive Chinese chef Ku Keung says: “To give some customers a peace of mind, I have replaced raw hamachi with cooked French scallops this year. The salmon we use is of sashimi-grade that is frozen and taken out of the refrigerator just before customers collect the yusheng for takeaways. The fish is also placed in insulation bags that should be refrigerated as soon as possible."
• Fresh seafood should not have excess liquid when packaged.
• Place raw seafood and ready-to-eat food on separate plates to avoid cross-contamination.
• Thoroughly wash knives, containers and cutting boards before and after handling raw seafood.
• Do not re-freeze seafood that has been completely thawed.
• Do not open refrigerator or freezer doors more often than necessary to avoid temperature fluctuation.
• When storing or thawing seafood in the refrigerator, place the seafood in containers or trays to prevent the juices from contaminating other food.
Source: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority