For years, many New York sushi restaurants have lured gourmands by boasting of the freshest fish in the city. But soon, those claims may call for an asterisk.
New regulations, published this week by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, require that fish served raw, undercooked or marinated raw in dishes like ceviche must first be frozen, to guard against parasites. In March, the Board of Health approved the regulations, which now align with Food and Drug Administration recommendations and are set to take effect in August.
That means that by the end of summer all fish used in sushi, sashimi, tartare and other popular raw dishes will make a pit stop in the freezer before they end up on diners’ plates.
Though some customers might blanch at the idea that their coveted crudo and sashimi — sometimes costing hundreds of dollars — emerged from a deep freeze, the truth is that many chefs in the city’s top restaurants have long used frozen fish to prevent serving their raw fare with a side of pathogens.