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Canned Salmon


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Kislev 16, 5770
Is there a problem with canned salmon with sea lice?
I discussed this with R’ Victor the fish supervisor of the Machon L’mitzvot Hatluyot Ba’aretz of Rabbi S.Z. Revach. He says that the current situation is that Salmon from the USA and China are usually ocean fish that are commonly infested with Anisakis worms that are in the meat of the fish, and since it is very difficult to clean them, one should not eat these fish. Rabbi Moshe Vaye told me that according to most great Poskim, Anisakis worms that are in the meat of the fish are permitted as stated in Shulchan Aruch Yoreh De’ah 84, 16. Because at the time that they were swallowed by the fish they were microscopic creatures that are not forbidden, and what grew inside the fish is permitted, except for the worms in the intestines that are forbidden. Therefore fish that is imported from the USA or China should not be prohibited. However the intestines should be cleaned well, to make sure all worms are removed. Salmon from Norway and Chile are usually fresh water fish that grow in cages. They are not usually infested with Anisakis worms. But they are commonly infested with “Lepeophtheirus Salamonis - Salmon Lice” that stick to the skin of the Salmon. They are seen clearly and are easily removed. Canned Salmon; according to Rabbi Revach’s Machon and the Rabbis supporting them, it should not be eaten if it is from the USA or China because of the problem of Anisakis worms. If it is from Norway or Chile there is most probably no problem with “Salmon lice” because the skin is removed before it is canned. It is recommended to buy it with a good Hechsher to be sure no Lice found its way to the cans. Rabbi Vaye disagrees; he told me that one can buy canned salmon from the USA or China that is under a good Hashgachah, who make sure to clean the intestines well from all the worms. In any case it is highly recommended to buy fish under a good Hashgachah that is familiar with the worms and sea lice issues or consult Kashrut experts in every specific case, because things change from time to time and place to place.
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