Don't Eat Costco Salmon Until You Read This

Warning: This article should come with a spoiler alert. Not "spoiler" as in revealing the surprise ending of a movie you haven't seen yet, but spoiler as in, well, we're about to ruin your appetite. 

Whether or not you have a strong stomach, though, if you ever have, or will (or are even considering) purchasing salmon from Costco, you absolutely need to keep on reading. While the revelation that some Costco salmon contains live worms that are large enough to be visible might seem like no big deal to Costco management, it's pretty shocking — and super gross — for anyone who was thinking of purchasing, much less eating, that fish.

The disgusting details about Costco salmon

In August of 2019, a shopper at a New Rochelle, N.Y. Costco made it all the way to the checkout line with his fresh wild sockeye salmon before he noticed there was something in the package that was... moving! It wasn't the fish miraculously come back to life — instead, it was a worm. Horrified, he brought the attention to a store manager, only to have his complaint about wormy salmon dismissed as "pretty normal." 

And, in fact, it does turn out to be a far from unusual occurrence for Costco salmon to be worm-infested, as several San Diego area Costco shoppers had also complained of worms in their salmon back in 2017. Neither instance prompted much of a response from Costco HQ, much less any offers to correct the problem.

How to deal with wormy salmon

Experts wish to reassure potential purchasers of worm-infested fish that heat will kill those worms (via LiveScience), but strangely enough, that advice doesn't make us feel any better. Alive or dead, the fact remains: Nobody. Wants. To. Eat. Worms. Not raw, not cooked. Not poached, grilled, pan-seared, nor lightly basted in a delicious teriyaki glaze. If we wanted to snack on edible insects, we'd be munching cricket kebabs and sucking down mealworm smoothies, but anyone shopping for salmon has the right to expect fish without any unexpected (and very unwanted) stowaways.

While Costco can be a great place to score bargains on items ranging from bacon to booze to tires and prescription meds, perhaps it's not where you'll want to be doing any future fish shopping. After all, with all due respect to those experts who suggested we just needed to cook our wormy salmon, I'm sure that most of us agree that the best way to handle the problem of bug-infested food is not to purchase it at all.