Fish poisoning is more common than you thought

According to a study published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene people who consumed the barracuda fish were more prone to fish poisoning. The barracuda along with some other variety of fish like hogfish, snapper, amberjack and mackerel carried the ciguatera toxin.

The matter of concern is that the toxin remains in the fish despite freezing or cooking it. Some epidemiologists suggest not eating fish varieties like barracuda at all. One must be aware that there is risk involved in eating fish and if there is some sort of sickness after consuming fish, a doctor must be consulted.

Types of fish poisoning

There are four major types of fish poisoning that occur by consuming fish. The first variety is the ciguatera poisoning, then there is shellfish poisoning, histamine poisoning and escolar diarrhea.

Small organisms known as dinoflagellate, which cling on to algae, produce Ciguatera toxin. Small fish consume these algae and become food for the bigger fishes. Now, these varieties of fish like the barracuda accumulate ciguatera toxin in their system.

The poisoning caused by the shellfish could be of three types, Paralytic, Neurotoxic, and Amnesic. Paralytic shellfish poisoning could be the most serious type, and can even be fatal. Neurotoxic is the least severe out of these, with the same symptoms as ciguatera poisoning. In the amnesic type, amnesia and confusion may occur and in the worst case, the person could even be in a comma.

Rudderfish or fish belonging to the escolar family contains a high ester wax component. This ester wax causes diarrhea as it is indigestible by the human body.

Histamine poisoning occurs due to the release of the chemical called histidine, which reacts to forms histamine. This sort of poisoning is the result of eating spoiled or unrefrigerated fish.

Preventing fish food poisoning

Keep in mind that the majority of fish poisoning is form the warm water fishes. Although, there is no definite rule as fish do migrate to far off regions as well. Maintaining hygiene at home, like refrigerating the fish properly, washing hands thoroughly before cooking will prevent poisoning that occur by histamine and will prevent bacteria from developing.

Cooking and freezing fish properly can help in preventing poisoning. Proper cooking would destroy low concentrations of poison in some varieties of fish.

Be informed of the variety that you buy and if it is at risk to consume that kind of fish, avoiding such varieties can be helpful. Choose your fish wisely and secure yourself of the ill effects.

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