Parasites could be lurking in your sushi, doctors warn

Parasitic Worms Are Showing Up in Sushi

Parasitic Worms Are Showing Up in Sushi

A parasite, or worm that lives in contaminated raw or undercooked fish or seafood, when ingested can cause severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and fevers.

The increase is notable in western countries where eating sushi and other raw or uncooked fish is now more popular. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy revealed a parasitic worm penetrating his stomach.

The man's doctor, Joana Carmo said most cases of anisakiasis occurred in Japan but it was becoming more common in Western countries. The examination report confirmed that the patient had anisakiasis, which is also referred as herring worm disease, commonly caused by the in-take of undercooked fish.

Yet recent estimates suggest that about 8,000 annual anisakiasis cases may be occurring in Spain due to consumption of raw and marinated anchovies, Bao said.

Scholars on the topic suggest the illness in general is under-estimated and under-diagnosed.

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Anisakiasis can not be transmitted from human to human.

If by chance someone does encounter a parasite while eating raw fish, some can experience a tingling sensation after or while eating the undercooked fish or squid. The FDA recommends the following for seafood preparation or storage to kill parasites.

The CDC says that people can try to cough up the worm or remove it by hand.

And at any reputable restaurant, fish is flash frozen solid at a temperature of -31°F or below and stored in a freezer for at least 15 hours to prevent parasites. "This is actually the worm moving in the mouth or throat", the centre's site reads.

"Properly trained sushi chefs can detect anisakis larvae", Carmo said.

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