Smoked salmon might actually be that one ingredient that most parents immediately assume is unsafe until children are well grown. Ask me! I was one of those moms who just assumed smoked salmon is for adults… until one night when we were eating smoked salmon pizza. It hit me… my daughter Melanie took a bite into the pizza, and my immediate reaction was: is this safe for her? A 2.5 year old?
What is smoked salmon?
Smoked salmon is regular salmon fish filet that has been marinated and/or treated and the smoke-cooked in a smoke oven. The preparation process includes slicing away the skin, neck, fins, and backbone, leaving only the filets. They are then marinated in lots of salt and some pepper for a few hours, after which they are sprayed away with water. The filets are then spread with maple syrup or a sugar solution.
How is smoked salmon cooked?
Now that the salmon is ready for smoking, they are placed in the smoke oven. There are two methods of smoking: hot-smoking and cold-smoking. Hot-smoking simply means the fish is smoked at higher temperature (around 75 degrees Celsius) for around 8 to 10 hours. Cold-smoking occurs at around 20 degrees Celsius for 24 hours.
Which cooking method is better?
Cold-smoking means that the fish is in a range of temperature that we consider “dangerous” if left for more than 1 to 2 hours. At 20 degrees Celsius, bacteria is in its prime environment, meaning bacterial growth is rapid. This can be dangerous to consume. Pregnant women and children should never eat smoked salmon according to Snyder from Healthline.com
So, when can children eat hot-smoked salmon?
Because smoked salmon still has residues of salt and sugar, I recommend avoiding smoked salmon until at least one year of age. After that, offer smoked salmon only infrequently until age 2.