Pre-made sushi is a subject that divides opinions fairly evenly. One-half of us believe that sushi bought in a grocery or supermarket is fine and the other half prefers fresh sushi. Technically, pre-made sushi can be eaten. However, it must be refrigerated and adhere to HACCP guidelines (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point).
Some people actually believe that supermarket sushi is safer than sushi from restaurants because of HACCP standards. Although others believe it is technically safe to eat pre-made sushi, consumers are certain that it will not taste as good when prepared right in front of them. Let’s suppose you are short on time and have a sudden craving for sushi. What should you do?
These are the top points to remember before you buy.
Learn Where Your Premade Sushi Is Made
Two major producers of supermarket sushi are Fuji Food Products and Advanced Fresh Concepts.
Fuji Food Products makes all their sushi at one of its four main facilities in Washington, Colorado and California. They also ship them to third-party establishments. FFP also employs many chefs who make sushi in popular supermarkets such as Albertsons, Sprouts Sams, Super Target and Trader Joes.
AFC is most well-known for its distribution of premade sushi, and for shipping it to different establishments across the U.S. Regional managers are also employed to ensure consistency in the quality of premade sushi.
Problem is that most supermarket sushi comes from independent businesses, which may not adhere to strict guidelines or have consistent standards. It is, however, in the best interests of every food service establishment to offer a safe and delicious product.
What To Look For
Although most sushi is prepared, there are still many ingredients that can be eaten raw. How can you determine if pre-made sushi is worth buying? Here are some things to watch out for:
- You should look for restaurants that rotate their sushi frequently. This is a sign that they are selling. Doing a lot of business is a good way to confirm the quality of a restaurant. It is a sign of a quality establishment to be able to see the chef making sushi. This means that you have to make sushi every day.
- Make sure to check the date. Many supermarkets have new sushi every day or at the very least every other day. To be certain, check the Sell By Date on the package.
- Is the fish looking dry? Dry fish indicates old fish. It is hard to imagine glistening fish pieces in this box.
- All pre-made sushi must remain refrigerated in order to comply with FDA and HACCP regulations. Sushi should never be purchased at room temperature from a supermarket.
What Is The Quality Difference Between Pre-Made Sushi And Made-To-Order Sushi?
You should consider a few things when making sushi. Refrigeration is the most important aspect to remember. Here are some side effects of refrigerating sushi.
– Rice becomes dry, hard and loses its original flavor. Rice is best served near body temperature because it is at its highest flavor point and most consistent at that temperature. It loses much of its flavor when it falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Seaweed becomes soggy: Once flavorful and crisp, nori now has the consistency of tissue paper.
– Sauce soaks sushi: (say it ten times fast). Any sauce will naturally saturate sushi over time. The sushi will be more saturated the longer the sauce sits. Have you ever drizzled syrup over pancakes before putting them in the refrigerator? This is not very appealing, nor is refrigerated sushi. Although I have only seen it a few times, it is always a good sign.
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