‘Sushi parasites’ have increased 283-fold in past 40 years

I don’t eat sushi.

The combination of rice and raw fish sets off way too many risk buttons for me.

There was this one time, about eight years ago, I went to Dubai and Abu  Dhabi, to evaluate a graduate program and hang out at Dubai’s food safety conference.

A microbiologist from the University of New South Wales was also enlisted (and knew more about this stuff than I did).

One night, our hosts took us to dinner featuring a buffet overflowing with raw seafood.

He said, “Don’t.”

You don’t want to know the microbiological profile of that raw seafood, or something like that.

The University of Washington says, the next time you eat sashimi, nigiri or other forms of raw fish, consider doing a quick check for worms.

A new study led by the University of Washington finds dramatic increases in the abundance of a worm that can be transmitted to humans who eat raw or undercooked seafood. Its 283-fold increase in abundance since the 1970s could have implications for the health of humans and marine mammals, which both can inadvertently eat the worm.

Thousands of papers have looked at the abundance of this parasitic worm, known as Anisakis or “herring worm,” in particular places and at particular times. But this is the first study to combine the results of those papers to investigate how the global abundance of these worms has changed through time. The findings were published March 19 in the journal Global Change Biology.

“This study harnesses the power of many studies together to show a global picture of change over a nearly four-decade period,” said corresponding author Chelsea Wood, an assistant professor in the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. “It’s interesting because it shows how risks to both humans and marine mammals are changing over time. That’s important to know from a public health standpoint, and for understanding what’s going on with marine mammal populations that aren’t thriving.”

Despite their name, herring worms can be found in a variety of marine fish and squid species. When people eat live herring worms, the parasite can invade the intestinal wall and cause symptoms that mimic those of food poisoning, such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. In most cases, the worm dies after a few days and the symptoms disappear. This disease, called anisakiasis or anisakidosis, is rarely diagnosed because most people assume they merely suffered a bad case of food poisoning, Wood explained.

After the worms hatch in the ocean, they first infect small crustaceans, such as bottom-dwelling shrimp or copepods. When small fish eat the infected crustaceans, the worms then transfer to their bodies, and this continues as larger fish eat smaller infected fish.

Humans and marine mammals become infected when they eat a fish that contains worms. The worms can’t reproduce or live for more than a few days in a human’s intestine, but they can persist and reproduce in marine mammals.

Salmonella outbreak sickens dozens in Chile, linked to

Outbreak News Today reported in Nov. 2019, a Salmonella outbreak in Maipú commune in Santiago Province has now affected 80 people, according to the Chile news source, T13 (computer translated).

This is up from 45 cases reported ill at the El Carmen Hospital with symptoms of Salmonella on Tuesday.

Health officials have linked to outbreak to the consumption of sushi at a Bokado sushi store.

“This is an important call for the preparation of these products, they must be cooked.  They must not use salmon or raw seafood, they  must use cooked products , ” said Health Seremi, Rosa Oyarce.

Another reason to dislike sushi: First report of E. coli O157

AIMS: The aim of this study was to evaluate the microbiological quality of commercially prepared ready-to-eat (RTE) sushi by enumerating aerobic mesophilic bacteria (AMB) and thermotolerant coliforms (TC) and detecting Escherichia coli and Salmonella ssp. An isolate was identified as E. coli O157:H7 which was evaluated for its virulence and antimicrobial resistance profiling as well as its ability to form biofilms on stainless steel.

METHODS AND RESULTS: There were four sampling events in seven establishments, totalling 28 pools of sushi samples. Mean AMB counts ranged between 5·2 and 7·7 log CFU per gram. The enumeration of TC varied between 2·1 and 2·7 log MPN per gram. Salmonella ssp. were not detected, and one sample was positive for E. coli and was identified as E. coli O157:H7. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of E. coli O157:H7 in sushi samples in the world literature. This isolate presented virulence genes stx1, stx2, eae and hlyA. It was also susceptible to 14 antimicrobials tested and had the ability to form biofilms on stainless steel.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a need to improve the good hygiene practices adopted in establishments selling sushi in the city of Pelotas, Brazil. In addition, the isolated E. coli O157:H7 carries a range of important virulence genes being a potential risk to consumer health, as sushi is a RTE food. This isolate also presents biofilm formation ability, therefore, may trigger a constant source of contamination in the production line of this food.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The increase in the consumption of sushi worldwide attracts attention regarding the microbiological point of view, since it is a ready-to-eat food. To our knowledge, this was the first time that E. coli O157:H7 was identified in sushi samples.

First report of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in ready-to-eat sushi

21 September 2019

Journal of Applied Microbiology

Ramires T 1  Iglesias MA 2 Vitola HS 1 Núncio ASP 1 Kroning IS 1  Kleinubing NR 1 , Fiorentini ÂM 1  da Silva WP 1  

DOI: 10.1111/jam.14456 

https://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/31541508

Most sushi producers in Ireland fail to meet food safety standards

I don’t like sushi and don’t eat it, especially the real kind with raw fish.

Andrew Lowth of Spin 1038 reports that checks have found almost every sushi maker and seller in Ireland has failed to meet food safety standards.

Of eleven manufacturers, restaurants and takeaways inspected, just one hadn’t broken food hygiene laws.

The Food Safety Authority found 76 breaches of food law, including poor parasite control and incorrect defrosting of raw fish.

The audit findings also include:

90% of food businesses audited did not have adequate controls in place relating to sushi production and processing activities

75% of food businesses did not meet the requirements of the legislation for  freezing fish for parasite control

Over 90% of the food businesses did not have adequate operational controls for sushi rice production

“Our audit sought to establish if food safety controls were being followed and the findings are very concerning,” says FSAI CEO Pamela Byrne.

“It showed that over three quarters of the food businesses did not have adequate food safety controls in place for this.”

Raw is risky: South Korean man, 71, had hand amputated when skin started rotting 12 hours after eating sushi

Zoe Drewett of Metro wrote in August that a man from South Korea became infected with a potentially deadly flesh-eating bacteria which caused painful black ulcers to grow across his skin 12 hours after indulging in the raw seafood. The infection was so bad that he had to have his hand and forearm amputated 25 days later.

The 71-year-old man went to hospital after two days of fever and excruciating pain in his left hand that had developed 12 hours after eating raw seafood Medics drained the blisters before deciding his limb could not be saved because the unnamed man’s skin had started rotting so badly. The pensioner visited doctors in Jeonju, South Korea, after experiencing excruciating pain in his hand for two days. His story, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, took a turn when a blister on the palm of his hand grew to 3.5cm by 4.5cm – approximately the size of a golf ball.

39 sick from Vibrio in sushi in Japan

They have a video, but this one is better.

The Japan News reports that Totoyamichi, a conveyor-belt sushi restaurant operator affiliated with Japan’s Skylark Holdings Co., — which sounds creepy enough on its own — has been shutting all 24 outlets since Monday after food poisoning occurred at some of them.

At least 39 customers have complained of food poisoning symptoms after eating at Totoyamichi restaurants.

Skylark reported the case only on its website while stopping short of holding a press conference. The restaurant group may thus come under fire for failing to fully explain the incident, analysts said.

According to Skylark, food poisoning symptoms, such as diarrhea and stomachache, were reported from customers who used eight Totoyamichi outlets in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures between Aug. 31 and Sept. 3. The affected customers are recovering from their illness.

In a survey by Skylark, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a type of bacteria that causes stomachache and other symptoms, was detected from raw sea urchin at some outlets.
 

 

Salmon sushi: 5.6′ tapeworm excreted by California man

Raw can be risky.

Including raw fish used to make sushi, especially if it is not frozen at sea.

Following up my chat with daughter Sorenne while strolling around Noumea, New Caledonia last week, a Fresno man with a daily sushi habit had a 5.5-foot tapeworm lodged in his intestines. He pulled it out himself, wrapped it around a cardboard toilet paper tube and carried the creature into Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center.

Michelle Robertson, a San Francisco Gate staff writer, reports that Kenny Banh was the lucky doc on shift at the time. He recounted his experience on a recent episode of the podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit.”

Banh said the patient complained of “bloody diarrhea” and expressed a desire to get treated for tapeworms.

“I get asked this a lot,” the doctor said. “Truthfully, a lot of times I don’t think they have it.”

This man had it, which he proved to Banh by opening a plastic grocery bag and pulling out the worm-wrapped toilet paper tube.

Banh then asked some questions, starting with: “That came out of your bottom?”

“Yes.”

According to the doctor’s retelling, the patient was using the restroom when he noticed what looked like a piece of intestine hanging out of his body.

 “He grabs it, and he pulls on it, and it keeps coming out,” Banh recounted. He then picks the thing up, “looks at it, and what does it do? It starts moving.”

That’s when the man realized he had a tapeworm stuck in his insides. He headed to the emergency room shortly thereafter, where Banh treated him with an anthelmintic, a single-treatment deworming medication used on humans and dogs alike.

Banh also took it upon himself to measure the specimen on the floor of the hospital. It stretched a whopping 5 feet, 6 inches — “my height,” noted the doctor.

Tapeworms can be contracted in a variety of ways, but Banh said his patient hadn’t traveled out of the country or engaged in any out-of-the-ordinary behavior. The man also professed his love of sushi, specifically raw salmon sashimi, which he confessed to eating daily.

Fresno is located an ample 150 miles from coastline and is not exactly famed for its sushi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last February that the rise in popularity of raw fish consumption has likely spurred

The story has attracted attention all over the world, as these things tend to do, says Peter Olson, a tapeworm expert and a researcher at the Natural History Museum’s life sciences department, who was quoted as telling The Guardian, “because they’re gross”. The worm, he says, was “almost certainly something called the broad fish tapeworm … salmon is one of the main ways you would pick it up, if you don’t cook the meat.” The life of the broad fish tapeworm involves more than one host. “A typical life cycle might include a bear that feeds on salmon, then defecates back into the river. The larvae would be passed into the environment and, in the case of an aquatic life cycle like this, it would be eaten by something like a copepod, a little crustacean. When that copepod is eaten by a fish, it would transform into a larval tapeworm and that’s what is being transmitted to a human in this case. That would go to the intestine and grow into this giant worm.”

(On one of our first dates, over 12 years ago – same age as barfblog.com — Amy tried to serve me grilled salmon. I whipped out my trusty tip-sensitive digital thermometer and noted a 98F reading, and said, no way. Cook it.)

The tapeworm is a monstrous and impressive creation. It has a segmented body, with male and female reproductive organs in each segment, so it is capable of self-fertilisation. It does not have a head as such – its “head” is only useful for holding on to its host’s gut, rather than for “eating” (it absorbs nutrients through its skin). In many cases, you would not know you were infected. You might spot bits of tapeworm segment in your stool – small, pale, rice-like bits – or experience stomach pain or vomiting.

Eating sushi can be risky

I dry heaved when I read this…..

Michelle Robertson of SF Gate reports

A Fresno man with a daily sushi habit had a 5.5-foot tapeworm lodged in his intestines. He pulled it out himself, wrapped it around a cardboard toilet paper tube and carried the creature into Fresno’s Community Regional Medical Center.
Kenny Bahn was the lucky doc on shift at the time. He recounted his experience on a recent episode of the podcast “This Won’t Hurt A Bit.”
Bahn said the patient complained of “bloody diarrhea” and expressed a desire to get treated for tapeworms.
“I get asked this a lot,” the doctor said. “Truthfully, a lot of times I don’t think they have it.”
This man had it, which he proved to Bahn by opening a plastic grocery bag and pulling out the worm-wrapped toilet paper tube.
Bahn then asked some questions, starting with: “That came out of your bottom?”
“Yes.” 
According to the doctor’s retelling, the patient was using the restroom when he noticed what looked like a piece of intestine hanging out of his body.
Doctors in Taiwan extracted an 8-and-a-half foot tapeworm from a girl’s intestine and believe she contracted the parasite through raw, contaminated fish.
“He grabs it, and he pulls on it, and it keeps coming out,” Bahn recounted. He then picks the thing up, “looks at it, and what does it do? It starts moving.” (Note: At this point in the podcast, the hosts audibly gasp.)
That’s when the man realized he had a tapeworm stuck in his insides. He headed to the emergency room shortly thereafter, where Bahn treated him with an anthelmintic, a single-treatment deworming medication used on humans and dogs alike.
Bahn also took it upon himself to measure the specimen on the floor of the hospital. It stretched a whopping 5 feet, 6 inches — “my height,” noted the doctor.
Tapeworms can be contracted in a variety of ways, but Bahn said his patient hadn’t traveled out of the country or engaged in any out-of-the-ordinary behavior. The man also professed his love of sushi, specifically raw salmon sashimi, which he confessed to eating daily.
Fresno is located an ample 150 miles from coastline and is not exactly famed for its sushi. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last February that the rise in popularity of raw fish consumption has likely spurred a recent increase of tapeworm infections.

 

39 sick from Salmonella in sushi in Ukraine

Toma Istomina of the KyivPost writes an outbreak of cases of Salmonella infections in Kyiv has revealed a rash of sanitary violations in the city’s restaurants.

Police have started criminal proceedings against Eurasia, a popular chain of sushi restaurants in Kyiv, after 39 people came down with Salmonella poisoning after eating in two of its restaurants. An investigation found that one of the cooks had spread the bacteria.

Further inspections by Ukraine’s food safety authorities uncovered numerous sanitary violations in at least 79 other restaurants in Kyiv.

However, legislation that was in effect until June 30 prevented the authorities from immediately issuing fines or shutting down the offenders – the law had stipulated that such measures could be taken only after a scheduled inspection, and not an unscheduled one.

The only restaurants to be temporarily closed as of July 5 were the two Eurasia sushi bars where customers were infected by the bacteria – on 2A Dmytrivska St. and 20 Stepan Bandera St.

The first cases of salmonellosis infection were reported on June 27, when 34 people sought treatment for the symptoms of Salmonella poisoning – diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting. All had eaten in the two Eurasia restaurants, and five more people reported infection within the following week.

Most of the infected customers were hospitalized. The State Service of Ukraine on Food Safety and Consumer Protection launched an inspection of the entire Eurasia chain.

Food inspector in the house: Petting zoo, sushi and school fete

Grey nomading is a term I never heard until I came to Australia.

Same with fete.

A grey nomad is “a retired person who travels independently and for an extended period within their own country, particularly in a caravan or motor home.”

My retired friend Rod, previously with the New South Wales Food Authority, and his wife Alison were grey nomading by BrisVegas on Sunday, so I took them to Sorenne’s school fete, featuring a petting zoo, homemade foods and a host of microbiological hazards.

As we passed the sushi stall, we looked at each other and silently shook our heads, no.

Darcy Spears of KTNV in Nevada reports, the annual River Run, which brings tens of thousands of people to Laughlin from Las Vegas and elsewhere, a Laughlin sushi bar will be recovering from a 33-demerit C grade.

The sushi bar at Minato Japanese and Korean restaurant on South Casino Drive in Laughlin is back on Dirty Dining for the second time.

Darcy: And we’d just like to get your side of the story from whoever is in charge.

Person in charge: Um, sorry, right now we’re not available for that.

Darcy: You’re not available? But you’re standing right in front of me. You look available.

Person in charge: I mean, you say you need a person in charge, right?

Darcy: Yes. And so of course if the restaurant’s open there has to be someone in charge on property.

Person in charge: Well, I’m in charge but you need someone probably a little higher than me for this kind of thing.

Darcy: If you need to call someone you can. We just want to make sure we give you guys the chance to tell customers why you guys happened to get the most demerits of all the inspected restaurants last week, and, a lot of stuff in here seems to indicate with temperature issues that the sushi could be potentially unsafe and we like to make sure you have the chance to comment on that.

Person in charge: Um, no thanks. I’ll decline.

Inspectors found sushi rice and shredded crab left out on the counter at unsafe temperatures. 

Ground mixed tuna and shrimp were also in the temperature danger zone.

There weren’t roaches running around or expired food, but there was a lot of issues with temperatures and handwashing and things that could spread foodborne illness.

Food safety is what happens when people pay attention.