Is it ok to eat raw fish?

In this brief article, we are going to answer the question, “Is it ok to eat raw fish?”

Is it ok to eat raw fish?

No, it is not ok to eat raw fish. The health risks associated with consuming raw or undercooked fish are likely to be minimal for the majority of healthy individuals, but can be rather high for those who are more susceptible to illness. 

Extreme nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain are only a few of the symptoms of a food-borne illness.

Opisthorchiasis is an illness brought on by a family of parasitic flatworms called liver flukes.

Most cases of infection can be found in the subtropical and tropical zones of Asia, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe.

About 17 million individuals are infected with opisthorchiasis globally, with the majority living in Southeast Asia.

Sick humans and other animals may harbor adult liver flukes, which spend their lives in the liver and feed on the blood of their hosts. Potential side effects include hepatitis, cancer of the liver, gallstone formation, inflammation of the gallbladder, and increased liver size.

Opisthorchiasis appears to be caused primarily by eating raw or undercooked fish. Also contributing are unclean hands, counters, and utensils used to prepare food.

Does eating raw fish cause infection?

Yes, it is possible to contract fish tapeworms by consuming raw or undercooked fish or marine fish that reproduce in freshwater rivers. Specifically, this includes salmon.

A human hookworm can grow to be 49 feet long, making it the longest human parasite ever discovered (15 meters). The global infection rate might reach 20 million, according to scientists.

Symptoms of the condition known as diphyllobothriasis are rare when fish tapeworms are present.

Most people with diphyllobothriasis experience very mild symptoms, such as a lack of energy or concentration, stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation.

There is evidence that tapeworms can siphon off a significant amount of vitamin B12 and other nutrients from their hosts’ digestive systems. Because of this, vitamin B12 insufficiency or low levels may develop.

Roundworms

An illness known as anisakiasis may be caused by parasitic roundworms. Marine fish, or fish that are frequently in the ocean like salmon, are hosts for these worms.

Scandinavia, Japan, the Netherlands, and South America are among the most prevalent hotspots for infections due to the prevalence of the consumption of raw or mildly pickled or salted seafood.

Anisakis roundworms, like numerous other fish-borne parasites, cannot survive in humans for very long.

To escape, they attempt to tunnel into the intestinal lining, but become trapped and perish. This could trigger an immediate and strong immunological response, resulting in swelling, nausea, and vomiting.

Regardless of whether the worms are dead by the time the fish is consumed, the immune system may still react negatively.

Gnathostomiasis is thought to be caused by a different family of parasitic roundworms.

In Southeast Asia, Latin America, India, and South Africa, these worms can be found in raw or undercooked fish, chicken, and frogs. Infection is uncommon outside of Asia, nevertheless.

Stomach discomfort, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and fever are the primary indicators. Some people may experience skin lesions, rashes, itching, and swelling.

Severe difficulties in different organs may result from a parasite infection, depending on where the parasitic larvae travel in the host’s body.

Bacterial Infection

Fish is cooked because it poses a health risk if eaten raw.

Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea are the most common signs of food poisoning.

Listeria, Vibrio, Clostridium, and Salmonella are some examples of potentially hazardous bacteria that have been found in raw fish.

Ten percent of foreign raw seafood and three percent of local raw seafood came back positive for Salmonella in a single US study.

However, for otherwise healthy individuals, the chance of food poisoning from consuming raw fish is typically low.

Elderly people, small children, and HIV patients all have compromised immune systems and are more likely to become ill from a virus or bacteria. Raw fish and meat should be avoided by these groups at high risk.

The possibility of a Listeria infection, that can lead to the death of the fetus, is another reason why pregnant women are cautioned against eating raw fish.

Approximately 12,000 pregnant women in the United States are infected each year.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we answered the question, “Is it ok to eat raw fish?”

References

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-raw-fish#TOC_TITLE_HDR_4

https://www.eatright.org/homefoodsafety/safety-tips/food/is-raw-seafood-safe-to-eat#

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