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[FACT OR FAKE #13] If You Eat Fish With These White Spots, You'll Get Sick

We saw a 'fishy' viral Facebook post with more than 21,000 shares to date. Fact or fake? We fished for answers and got some.

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FACT or FAKE: A viral FB post says these white sacs in fish are parasite eggs and they will make you sick (click for full image)

FACT or FAKE: These white sacs in fish are parasite eggs

Image via akamaihd.net

If you see this parasite in your fish, THROW THE FISH AWAY!!! The white sacs are full of a milky fluid full of parasites and infest the fish all through the muscle.

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This parasite, called henneguya salminicola, does not affect the fishes health until one day it suddenly dies. Definitely wouldn't suggest eating that fish & risking the same fate..

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FACT: Fish are prone to getting parasite infections like how apples get worms

Black spot disease in fish

Image via wi.gov

Worms in fish muscles

Image via umd.edu

Fish filet with obvious white cysts, in this case a sign of infection with the parasite Kudoa.

Image via qld.gov.au

All living organisms, including fish, can have parasites. Parasites are a natural occurrence, not contamination. They are as common in fish as insects are in fruits and vegetables. Parasites do not present a health concern in thoroughly cooked fish.

ucdavis.edu

Myxozoans are commonly found parasites that infect both marine and freshwater fishes. They are found principally in the muscle, the brain and the gall bladder of their host fishes.

qld.gov.au

Some species of myxozoans can cause death in fish. Non-lethal effects can include the production of small but obvious white cysts in the muscle that make fillets unsightly, unappetising and therefore unmarketable.

qld.gov.au

Swallowing a parasite might harm you, but only if you eat the fish raw

Parasites become a concern when consumers eat raw or lightly preserved fish such as sashimi, sushi.

ucdavis.edu

Swallowing a parasite might harm you, but only if you eat the fish raw

Image via howtogetpregnantfast.us

If you are serving fish raw, and one of those guys manages to stay intact after you sliced the fish, and makes it all the way to your tummy intact, you are in trouble.

beyondsalmon.com

Our stomach will eventually kill them, but since they originate in seals, they can get quite comfy in any mammal including us humans making the experience extremely unpleasant.

beyondsalmon.com

FAKE: You don't have to throw your fish away, you can kill and remove them easily

“Henneguya salminicola in salmon is harmless from the view of public health. It is strictly a fish parasite that cannot live in or affect warm blooded animals, including man”.

alaska.gov
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Cooking kills and weakens the parasites so they cannot infect people in any case. Only healthy worms can only harm people when they enter the body.

wi.gov

Cooking fish to an internal temperature of 140°F will kill all fish nematodes and tapeworms. Normal cooking procedures generally exceed this temperature.

ucdavis.edu

Alternatively, freeze the fish to an internal temperature of -4°F for at least 7 days to kill any parasites that may be present. Home freezers may not be cold enough to kill the parasites.

ucdavis.edu

FAKE: You don't have to throw your fish away, you can kill and remove them easily

Image via whstatic.com

Here are some symptoms of raw fish infection

Here are some symptoms of raw fish infection

Image via says.com

In most cases, swallowing a live nematode is harmless. In rare cases, swallowing a live nematode larva can cause severe gastric upset called anisakiasis. Swallowing live tapeworm larvae can cause a tapeworm infestation.

ucdavis.edu

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