July 25, 2024

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Japan: The spread of “Anisakis over 200” increases nationwide food poisoning

Japan: The spread of “Anisakis over 200” increases nationwide food poisoning



Japan: The spread of “Anisakis over 200” increases nationwide food poisoning

A shocking video posted on social media is gaining attention. It shows over 200 “Anisakis” parasites infesting the surface of mackerel organs, among other places.

The footage was captured by faculty members of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Parasitology Section, at the University of Miyazaki Medical School, who posted it to raise awareness and encourage accurate knowledge about Anisakis, a common cause of food poisoning from sashimi such as mackerel, horse mackerel, and saury. We asked for points to prevent food poisoning.

​​Shocking… Countless parasites emerge when exposed to a black light.  Over 200 parasites “Anisakis” Fatty mackerel, said to be in season now.

Japan: The spread of "Anisakis over 200" increases nationwide food poisoning

screenshop from Yahoo Japan

Practical training in the Parasitology Section of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miyazaki Medical School using mackerel.

When a dedicated “black light” is applied to the opened mackerel, numerous elongated parasites appear.

The true identity of these parasites is “Anisakis.”

Scientists Warn of Hidden Health Risks in Sushi and Sashimi

According to Assistant Professor Mio Tanaka of the Parasitology Section of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miyazaki Medical School, “About 200 Anisakis parasites were parasitizing the mackerel posted on X (former Twitter). They were mostly found on the surface of the organs and their surroundings.”

On the surface of the organs… they can also move to the flesh over time The larvae of Anisakis parasitizing the mackerel are about 2 centimeters long and about 0.5 millimeters wide.

Individuals coiling on the surface of the organs were also confirmed.

By the way, mature Anisakis parasites parasitizing the stomachs of dolphins and whales can reach about 10 centimeters in size.

According to Assistant Professor Tanaka, in some cases, mackerel can be parasitized by over 500 Anisakis larvae, most of which are in the organs, but over time, some move to the flesh (muscles).

The footage of the practical training posted on X quickly became a hot topic. The number of views has exceeded 18.5 million.

Assistant Professor Tanaka posted this shocking video to raise awareness about Anisakis and to encourage accurate knowledge about it.

An increase in Anisakis food poisoning nationwide Food poisoning due to Anisakis is on the rise nationwide. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, there were 336 patients in 2019, 396 in 2020, 354 in 2021, and 578 in 2022.

According to Assistant Professor Tanaka, this number is reported from medical institutions designated under the Food Sanitation Act, and it is estimated that there are actually 2,000 to 3,000 cases of Anisakis food poisoning.

According to the Health and Welfare Department, Food and Life Hygiene Section of Nagano Prefecture, there are reports every year in the prefecture, and one case has been confirmed in 2023. The food believed to be the cause is pickled mackerel.

It’s like being torn apart in the stomach According to Nagano Prefecture, the main cause foods are sashimi such as mackerel, horse mackerel, squid, salmon, sea bream, sea bass, bonito, and sardines.

The incubation period is as short as 1 hour and as long as 36 hours, but about 70% develop symptoms within 8 hours.

Symptoms include severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and more.

In fact, the author also experienced Anisakis food poisoning a few years ago. The food believed to be the cause was sashimi of sardines, and symptoms occurred 5 to 6 hours after eating… Intense pain that felt like the stomach was being torn apart every few seconds, and bitter memories of writhing in agony come back.

Prevention method:

Heating and freezing So, how can you prevent food poisoning from Anisakis? We asked Assistant Professor Tanaka.

ーー What is the prevention method?

When dissecting a whole fish without processing the organs, remove the organs as soon as possible while they are still fresh. This is because over time, the parasites move from the organs to the muscles.

Anisakis will die with heating for 1 minute or more at 60℃ (instantly at 70℃ or higher) or freezing for 24 hours or more at -20℃. In a household freezer, which is about -18℃, it takes more than 48 hours.

When using cooking methods such as sashimi that are not heated, be sure to inspect and confirm during cooking or before eating. An Anisakis light-specific black light may be helpful if available.

What about soaking in vinegar, salt, or soy sauce? However, the suspected cause food reported in Nagano Prefecture in 2023 is “pickled mackerel.” (As mentioned above)

ーー Does soaking in vinegar not kill it?

Anisakis does not die even if soaked in vinegar, salt, or soy sauce. The same applies to wasabi, and the like.

Does it tear if you chew well? ーー I’ve heard that it tears if you chew well?

The surface of Anisakis is hard, and the insect itself is thin, so it is unlikely to be torn and killed by chewing.

According to market insiders, the representative Japanese mackerel “Masaba” is delicious with a high fat content from autumn to winter.

Assistant Professor Tanaka warns that as the opportunity to eat mackerel increases, the risk of Anisakis food poisoning also increases, and calls for caution.

Japan: The spread of “Anisakis over 200” increases nationwide food poisoning

Reference:

https://news.yahoo.co.jp/articles/b5c201cde1eaa563c13d2deabac0b104e37dd948?page=1

(source:internet, reference only)


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