Read This Before Buying Raw Salmon From Costco

Raw salmon is a popular choice for anyone who loves making their own sushi or is simply sticking to a healthy, protein-rich diet. High in critical nutrients that can improve our overall health and brain function, raw salmon is a delicious food found in many of the healthiest traditional diets all over the world.

But sourcing high-quality raw salmon isn’t always easy, despite being very important. Today, we will dive into all of the raw salmon offerings available at Costco and discuss whether or not their fish offerings can be trusted.

Costco Smoked Salmon Signature

Costco Options

First off, Costco sells a ton of raw salmon. You can browse raw salmon options on here. Just be aware that any raw salmon purchased on will be shipped on ice and arrive frozen. The only way to purchase fresh salmon from Costco is to visit a Costco Warehouse location in person.

On, you can find the following raw salmon offerings…

This list does not include any of the smoked salmon offerings at Costco, which can be found here. Technically speaking, smoked salmon is no longer considered raw.

When shopping at your local Costco Warehouse, you will likely be able to find several more raw salmon options beyond what is listed above.

If you’d like a detailed review on Costco’s Smoked Norwegian Salmon, check out  here.

Unsurprisingly, all of the raw salmon offerings on are sold in bulk. This means that the prices are quite high on the front end, even if you’re saving money overall by buying a larger quantity.

The cost of purchasing raw salmon from Costco will range anywhere from about $38 to almost $300. The per-pound price ranges from about $10 per pound to $30 per pound depending on which product you purchase.

These prices are based on the offerings available on, but it’s very possible that you will be able to find lower prices and smaller servings at a Costco Warehouse location near you.

Things to Know Before Consuming Raw Salmon

First, let’s take a minute to talk about the term “sushi grade,” which is commonly tossed around in conversations about raw fish quality.

Technically, there is no such thing as sushi-grade fish. In other words, there is no special certification that certain raw fish goes through to be approved for raw consumption.

In fact, if you see fish being marketed at any store as “sushi grade,” you can be assured that this is a marketing ploy. The term “sushi grade” is entirely unregulated, and many brands use it as a way to market their products and up-sell to customers.

Here is the FDA document referenced in the reddit post above, which can help you learn more about the safety guidelines associated with raw fish handling in the commercial sphere.

Raw Salmon From Costco Review 1

As noted above, there is no way to be sure that the raw salmon you purchase at any grocer (including Costco) is safe to eat, because you don’t know how it was prepared or handled prior to you purchasing it. Therefore, consuming raw salmon or any other type of raw fish or meat always comes with a risk.

To protect your salmon once you bring it home, be sure to store it either in the fridge at a temperature of no higher than 40°F or in the freezer. When stored in the refrigerator, raw fish should be consumed within two days of purchasing. In the freezer, salmon can last for up to three months before degrading in quality.

The Risks of Eating Raw Fish

Raw animal products are ripe breeding grounds for germs and other bacteria that can cause acute or even long-term health problems in humans and animals. The most common negative outcome of eating improperly handled or prepared raw fish is contracting food poisoning.

The symptoms of food poisoning include flu-like symptoms such as vomiting, sweating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc. Food poisoning is generally not considered serious and typically passes on its own within about 48 hours. If your symptoms persist, see a doctor.

The Benefits Of Eating Raw Salmon

Eating raw salmon has been associated with benefits as varied as…

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced anxiety and depression
  • Protection against cell damage
  • Antioxidant effects
  • Increased bone health
  • Enhanced brain function

Many of the benefits of eating raw salmon are rooted in the fact that salmon is rich in Vitamin D and Omega fatty acids. While you certainly still consume these nutrients when eating cooked salmon, cooking foods at high temperatures tends to degrade their nutrient content to some degree. So, eating raw fish can be a great way to maximize its potential health benefits.

Proper Preparation

For step-by-step instructions on how to prepare raw salmon for sushi, check out this article from Ichi Sushi.

As a basic overview, you should always follow these guidelines when handling raw salmon…

  • All tools used must be properly cleaned and sanitized prior to working with the fish (bleach is typically used for this sanitizing process, so be sure that you know how to properly and safely handle bleach, which is a highly toxic substance)
  • Anyone handling raw fish or working in the prep area should keep their hands clean consistently and/or wear sanitary gloves
  • Raw salmon should always be kept at temperatures no higher than 40°F

If your raw salmon is exposed to warm temperatures (above 40°F) for more than a couple of minutes, the risks of consuming it rise exponentially. This is because bacteria growth on salmon can happen very quickly when the fish is exposed to temperatures between 40°F and 140°F. 

If you cannot ensure that all of these preparation and handling measures have been taken, then there is no way to guarantee that your salmon is safe to consume.


While there are certainly many risks that come along with purchasing and eating raw salmon, Costco seems to have a very good reputation among customers who Source their raw salmon from the wholesaler.

I honestly wasn’t able to find a single review from any customer who was dissatisfied with their raw salmon purchase at Costco.

This user on Reddit shares that they regularly buy farmed salmon from Costco and freeze it before thawing it to use for sushi…

Raw Salmon From Costco Review 3

This user even thinks that Costco’s raw salmon is even better quality than some of the stuff you’ll find at sushi restaurants…Raw Salmon From Costco Review 5

If you’re still feeling wary of making sushi with Costco raw salmon, this conversation between a couple of Reddit users reveals a clever idea of using smoked salmon to prepare sushi instead of true sashimi. The benefit of using smoked salmon is that it is much more stable and less susceptible to bacterial growth than raw salmon, while still retaining the relative texture of fresh fish…

Raw Salmon From Costco Review 2

And finally, here is the simplest and perhaps most helpful review of all…

Raw Salmon From Costco Review 4

What more do you need to know?

Costco’s raw salmon is so widely considered safe to consume that even has a whole article dedicated to making sushi with Costco salmon.

Other Stores That Sell Raw Salmon

Most supermarkets, including big-name chains and mom-and-pop shops, carry raw salmon in their fresh meat and seafood sections.

Stores like Safeway, Kroger, Walmart, Tesco, Aldi, and more all carry raw salmon.

However, the best place to buy raw salmon is from a dedicated seafood supplier. To find a seafood market near you, try typing “raw seafood near me” into your search engine, and see what businesses pop up. Retailers that specialize in selling seafood exclusively are the most likely place to find super fresh and properly handled fish, especially if you live in a coastal area.


Is Costco salmon parasite-free?

There is no way to guarantee this, regardless of where you purchase your salmon. While the salmon sold at Costco is generally considered safe to eat raw, it’s impossible to guarantee that all of their fish is free of parasites or bacteria.

Is Costco’s fresh salmon previously frozen?

No. When salmon sold at Costco is labeled “fresh,” then that means that it has never been frozen. If a cut of fish has been frozen before, it will be labeled as “previously frozen.”

Does Costco sell sushi-grade fish?

“Sushi-grade” is not a real certification. However, Costco does sell fish that is regarded as safe to consume raw or use for preparing sushi.

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