This article was written by Christa Sgobba and provided by our partners at Men's Health.
Some uncomfortable news for fish lovers: Tapeworms have been found in certain Alaska salmon, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
When scientists examined a sample of wild Pacific salmon from Alaska—including Chinook salmon, pink salmon, rainbow trout, and sockeye salmon—they found larva of Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiensen in the muscles of the pink salmon.
Previously, this parasite was only known to infect fish in Asia, Food Safety Magazine reports.
This type of tapeworm, known as the Japanese broad tapeworm, is a common cause of a condition called diphyllobothriosis, which can result in diarrhea or abdominal pain. (Heal your whole body with Rodale's 12-day power plan for better health.)
The researchers say that this shows that salmon caught anywhere on the Pacific Coast of North America may be infected.
If the fish is not frozen during transport, the parasites may be able to enter your body and make you sick. So, if you intend to eat fish raw, like in sushi, the FDA says the fish should be frozen first.
The Alasaka Seafood Marketing Institute says the vast majority of Alaska salmon is frozen.
Taking certain preventive measures can keep you safe if you are buying fresh, nonfrozen salmon: You can kill the disease-causing tapeworm larvae by making sure to cook the salmon thoroughly.
Cook the fish to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the FDA says—it should separate easily with a fork. You can also freeze the fish at -4 degrees Fahrenheit or below for seven days, according to the CDC.
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