If you choose to eat salmon, then you need to know it could carry tapeworm larvae or eggs. It is extremely important to either freeze or thoroughly cook your fish before consuming it to kill the parasites that can grow up to 30 feet long once inside a human body.
The Japanese broad tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, is usually only found in fish from Asia’s Pacific coasts, but according to a study in the CDC’s Emerging Infectious Diseases journal, wild salmon netted in Alaska were also plagued by the parasite.
USA Today reported researchers say salmon caught anywhere off North America’s Pacific coasts could be affected. The scientists, however, warn the problem could spread if not remedied: Because salmon is often packed and transported on ice (but not frozen), the tapeworm’s larvae may be able to survive the trip, possibly infecting consumers in Europe, New Zealand, China, and other parts of the US.
The researchers cut open 64 wild Alaskan salmon in 2013 to find the larvae (some up to 15 mm long), and gene sequencing identified it as the Japanese tapeworm. Four species are known to carry it: chum salmon, masu salmon, pink salmon, and sockeye salmon, said USA Today.
Food Safety Magazine advises, infection risk is increased when consuming raw or undercooked fish. A preventive medicine professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine said most infected humans remain asymptomatic — some may feel slight abdominal discomfort or nausea — though there are rare cases in which the infection can turn serious.
The CDC claims freezing or cooking the fish will annihilate Diphyllobothrium parasites.
Be smart, eat healthy, and do your best NOT to eat parasites!
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)