How to Prevent Anisakiasis from Parasites in Fish
Anisakiasis is a parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract by larval nematodes of the familyAnisakidae, including generaAnisakis,Phocanema,Contracaecum,Terranova. The infection is acquired by ingestion of uncooked fish (for example, sushi) containingAnisakidaelarvae (see the diagram). The larvae may invade the stomach wall, causing ulceration with nausea, vomiting, epigastric pain, and haematemesis (vomiting of blood). They may migrate upward to the throat and cause a cough. They may proliferate in the small intestine and cause eosinophilic abscesses, with the symptoms mimicking appendicitis. Occasionally, colonies of the worm may perforate the bowel and cause peritonitis. Here are the steps to take to prevent this serious infection.
Avoid eating inadequately cooked fish and other seafood.Anisakiasis results from ingestion of uncooked or inadequately cooked and inadequately prepared fish and other seafood--including inadequate:"cold-cure", "smoke-cure", or "acidic-cure". When in doubt about the safety of the fish in a restaurant or public or private place, do not consume it.
Know which dishes require vigilance.Here are some of the most commonly contaminated dishes to beware of:
Clean and eviscerate fish as soon as possible after catching them.Doing this will reduce the number of larvae penetrating from thefreshfish's intestines into the muscles. All intestines must becompletely removedandnotingested.
Adequately freeze fish tocureit for a given time to consume raw, using one of the following processes to kill all of the infectious larvae:
- One full week: Freeze at -20°C (-4°F) or below for at least 7 days; or
- Partial day: Freeze at -35°C (-31°F) or below until solid, then store at -35°C (-31°F) or below for 15 hours; or
- One full day: Freeze at -35°C (-31°F) or below until solid and then store at -20°C (-4°F) or below for 24 hours.
Cook all fish and seafood thoroughly at or above 63°C (145°F).The flesh should be firm and well-cooked.
- When eating out, always choose a reputable restaurant for consuming fish on the above list. Well-known fish restaurants that one may expect to prepare fish properly can be found online; check the reviews before booking.
- Anisakiasis is not transmitted human to human; therefore, no isolation or quarantine is necessary.
Video: How to Get Rid of Intestinal Parasites (recipe)
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