Is canned tuna raw?
September 2, 2005 5:23 PM   Subscribe

I am ashamed to ask this but here goes: Is canned tuna fish raw? Slowly baked in massive conveyor belt ovens? Or is it smoked slightly, what's the deal?
posted by undule to Food & Drink (6 answers total)
this page says "Canned tuna is precooked and sold as albacore (or white meat) and light meat and can be safely kept on hand for up to five years." but without any detail about the cooking process. that's the most i could find.
posted by clarahamster at 5:34 PM on September 2, 2005

Canning is usually (always?) done by boiling the contents, then sealing the can. That's probably how the fish ends up getting cooked. It's definitely not raw, and I'm pretty sure not smoked either.
posted by trevyn at 5:36 PM on September 2, 2005

coolness! I don't know how I missed that page in my admiteddly terse google search -- but thanks! I thought it sounded a little odd for it be raw, but then, somehow . . . it made sense to me that it could be . . . ?
posted by undule at 5:43 PM on September 2, 2005

Previous thread on canned fish
posted by invisible ink at 5:51 PM on September 2, 2005

Some friends and I were wondering this very thing once in college, so we wrote to the Bumble Bee Tuna Company, Inc., and just asked them. They sent us a little prepared sheet on the process tuna undergoes between catching and canning. (Methinks they get asked this question a lot.)

In the case of that one particular company - and I can't see it being any different at other canneries - tuna fish is steamed before it is canned.

This very question is also the subject of a humorous debate in Joseph Heller's great book Good as Gold.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:46 PM on September 2, 2005

light meat and can be safely kept on hand for up to five years.

Just like to add that you probably should keep it in the can, if at all possible. Your hand will start smelling funky after year one.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:48 AM on September 3, 2005 [1 favorite]

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