Healthy Fish Preparation Methods

Cleaning and Cooking Instructions to Reduce Dioxin, PCBs, and DDT in Fish

Download the Cleaning and Cooking Tipsheet (PDF) (Free Viewer)

If you plan on eating fish caught from waters known to have PCB, Dioxin or DDT pollution problems, you can reduce the amount of these chemicals in the fish you eat. PCBs, Dioxins and DDT are chemicals that build-up in fatty tissues. You can reduce the amount of these chemicals in fish by cutting away fatty tissues and by cooking in way that melts the fat away from the fish.

Cutting Away Fat
The picture below shows where you can find fatty tissue that can be cut away. Most fish have fat deposits on the top of their back, belly, and sides.

Fish Prep Chart

Cooking Methods:

  • Remove or puncture skin before cooking. This allows fat to drain off and helps remove or reduce fat under the skin.
  • Cook so fat drips away. Bake, broil or grill on a rack, or poach and do not use the liquid.

NOTE: The methods above will not reduce mercury in fish tissue. Mercury is in the fish muscle and cannot be removed by trimming or cooking.

Read about other Fish & Game Guidelines.