A recently published medical case titled “An unusual case of abdominal pain” tells of an unidentified 50-year-old man from Alberta who was admitted to the hospital in August 2014 with severe abdominal pain and vomiting.
The man had attempted to make sushi for himself by buying raw salmon from his nearby grocery store only hours before.
An x-ray at the hospital revealed an anomaly in his stomach, so doctors guided a camera down his esophagus to look inside his stomach.
Doctors discovered that the man’s pain was due to rare parasitic anisakis worms trying to borrow through his stomach lining — had they succeeded, the man would have suffered from long-term complications. The worms had to be surgically removed.
While some stores legitimately sell “sashimi grade” salmon, most selections at typical grocery stores are not fresh enough to eat raw.
It is recommended that you have sushi prepared by a professional chef at a restaurant or, if possible, to “freeze the fish for seven days at −20 C (-4 F) or at a lower temperature for a shorter period of time (less than −20 C for four days).”
If you aren’t sure how fresh that fish at the store is, it’s probably best you leave it to the professionals — after all, unlike a sushi chef, you probably didn’t spend 10 years to master the art of sushi.