Health News

Sushi Lovers Beware, There’s A Dangerous Parasite Attaching Itself To Stomachs

Eating raw or undercooked food is like playing Russian roulette with your stomach, but we’ve kind of seen sushi as the exception. We can no longer take raw sushi for granted, though, as there has been an uptick in sushi eaters getting sick from a disease called Anisakiasis.

Anisakiasis, according to the CDC, “… is a parasitic disease caused by nematodes (worms) that attach to the wall of the esophagus, stomach, or intestine.”

Basically, there’s a chain reaction where mammals like whales take dumps in the ocean, and larvae get infected. The larvae are eaten by crustaceans, then the crustaceans are eaten by fish and squid that are eventually used in sushi and  are ultimately eaten by us.

When the fish in sushi is not cooked all the way, we ingest those parasites and they quickly take over our stomachs, irritating them, and leading to fevers and vomiting.

One example of this came from a report in the British Medical Journal about a 32-year-old man who had moderate abdominal pain, along with a fever and vomiting after eating sushi. An upper gastrointestinal endoscopy was performed on him, and they found a parasite attached to a swollen area in his stomach.

“Anisakis can infect salmon, herring, cod, mackerel, squids, halibut and red snapper,” Dr. Joana Carmo told CNN. “… Mainly in Japan because of the frequent ingestion of raw fish.”

While a bulk of the anisakiasis cases have come from Japan and Spain, there have been rising cases coming from the U.S. and South America, according to the CDC.

If left untreated, the gastric problems in your stomach can last for several months, leading to a surgery to remove the parasite.

Doing away with raw sushi sounds a little hard, but if you freeze the fish to -4 degrees Fahrenheit for 72 hours, it will kill the parasite. Also, if the sushi chef is properly trained, they can spot the anisakiasis.

So it all comes down either trusting your sushi chef or getting fully cooked sushi. May the odds be ever in your favor.

Fast Food

E. Coli Hits Chipotle Restaurants In SIX States, Should We Be Worried?


A few weeks ago, we wrote that more than 43 Chipotle locations were closed down due to an E. coli scare. While the outbreak was only limited to a two-state region, the company closed all the surrounding restaurants just to play things safe. Those restaurants have since reopened. Unfortunately, the E. coli has now expanded to six states.

There have now been reported cases in Minnesota, Ohio, New York and California with Washington and Oregon being the two original states.

Six states means its more than just one unclean kitchen. Currently, there’s an ongoing investigation to figure out the specific food item that’s connected to the E. coli.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 45 people have been infected and 43 of those infected said they had eaten at Chipotle within the week they were sick. The CDC says that the infection began within the window of Oct. 19 to Nov. 8.

Luckily, there have been no deaths.

A spokesman for Chipotle said that the company doesn’t believe it’s necessary right now to close any of the restaurants and is currently not aware of any employees that have become ill. They are, however, taking extreme measures to maintain a healthy and clean environment for preparing food.

Kind of makes us nervous for our next Chipotle visit, though.

Photo: Google Maps