Sushi has become more and more popular across the world. People are fascinated with the taste of raw fish with vegetables, rice, and plenty of soy sauce. Although sushi is a delicious treat, it is also dangerous. More cases of parasitic worm infections have been reported throughout the world, the dish’s popularity causing a spike in the number of worm infections.
Japan Needs to Work On Its Distribution Protocols
Health officials mentioned that the way seafood is distributed in Japan needs to be changed, live fish being needed for a healthy, worm-free sushi meal. However, the country is not the only one facing a rise in the number of parasitic worm infections. The entire world is dealing with this problem. To show the growth, a report states that parasitic worm infections rose to 124 in 2016. In 2007, there were only 6 cases of anisakis infections.
The anisakis larva is a white parasite, frequently found in fish species like salmon and mackerel. These parasites infect the intestines of fish, moving inside the muscle when the host dies. The larva dies only after it is frozen under -20 degrees C or the meat is thoroughly cooked.
The infection can cause stomach pain when the larvae invade the digestive system of humans. Luckily, the nematodes die a few days after ingestion, but doctors recommend immediate removal as the pain the anisakis cause is unbearable.
What Are the Solutions?
Currently, fresh seafood is transported raw, especially in Japan. Health experts are advising a change in the transportation protocol so that all fish products be packed in ice immediately after it is caught. Moreover, people are advised to cook the meat before ingesting it. In the case of sushi, cooks should work with either live, wriggling fish or their frozen counterparts.
If people take these precautions the number of parasitic worm infections is going to decrease. The taste of the fish is not affected by the freezing process. Sushi has the same taste whether the salmon was frozen or not, the only difference being the latter can cause extremely painful stomach pains if infected with anisakis larvae.
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