New NY Law: Raw Fish Must be Frozen Before Serving

Posted on: July 15, 2015 by RMS Hospitality

Although many New York restaurants pride themselves on their fresh ingredients, particularly those from the sea, the new law may require an updated menu. Taking effect in August, this new regulation will require fresh fish to be frozen for at least 15 hours prior to being served to reduce the risk of pathogens. While restaurants adapt to this new rule, be sure your business is equipped with a NY Restaurant General Liability policy.

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene stated this week that fish that is served raw, undercooked, or marinated raw in dishes like sushi or ceviche must first be frozen anywhere from 15 hours to one week to increase safety practices. Although many diners might not be thrilled about the idea that their “fresh” fish will be frozen prior to their consumption, it is actually common practice for many restaurants to do so.

“We purposely deep-freeze at negative 83 degrees, and we use one of those medical cryogenic freezers. This way, it’s kind of like cooking, but instead of using heat we use freezing to remove parasites or bacteria on the outer surface,” said Yuta Suzuki, VP of Sushi Zen in Times Square.

James Versocki, a legal counselor for the New York State Restaurant Association, assured that everyone will be enjoying the same quality of fish as most fish is frozen at some point throughout the supply chain.

Although most illnesses caused by consuming raw fish are minor, the Health Department is taking every precaution to minimize these risks.

Although the state of New York does not oblige restaurants to announce the fact that their “fresh” fish was previously frozen, they are now requiring that restaurants provide printed warnings of consuming undercooked or raw foods as of 2016.

At RMS Hospitality Group, we are committed to providing superior coverage to manage every risk exposure your restaurant might endure. For more information on our restaurant solutions, as well as our other specialty programs, contact us today at (888) 359-8390.

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