Alberta man contracts rare case of worms from Calgary grocery store salmon

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Alberta man contracts rare case of worms from Calgary grocery store salmon
Janet French, Postmedia Network
First posted: Thursday, January 21, 2016 09:00 AM EST | Updated: Thursday, January 21, 2016 01:43 PM EST
Warning: This story contains gross descriptions of parasitic worms and details that may unsettle sushi lovers.

An Alberta man had the misfortune of hosting the first-recorded Canadian case of a parasitic worm from raw fish he bought at a Calgary grocery store.

The 50-year-old man showed up in the emergency room at South Health Campus in August 2014 in extreme pain with perpetual vomiting, doctors report in a paper published last month.

"This is such a rare, unusual etiology, I don't think most people would put it too high on their list," said Dr. Stephen Vaughan, an infectious diseases consultant with a special interest in tropical medicine.

An X-ray and CT scan showed irregularities in the man's stomach just hours after he made himself sushi at home with raw wild salmon he bought at Superstore.

When a gastrointestinal specialist sent a little camera down his throat into his stomach, what he found was the stuff of squeamish people's nightmares.

Worms, about a centimetre long, were chomping their way through the man's stomach lining. Doctors plucked a few of the larva out using endoscopic forceps, Vaughan said.

A microbiologist identified the worms as anisakis, which, on rare occasions, infect people who eat raw or undercooked seafood, the doctors report in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology.

The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention says some diners feel a tingle in their mouth and throat when they unknowingly eat the worms.

Alberta has rules governing how restaurants must prepare sushi to prevent these kinds of infections, Vaughan said. Raw fish must be frozen below -20 C for at least a week or flash frozen below -35 C for at least 15 hours.

An experienced sushi chef can sometimes see the creepy critters inside raw fish as they chop open the animals, he said.

Loblaws, which owns Superstore, was unaware of the worms incident, company spokeswoman Catherine Thomas said in an email.

"We have extremely rigorous policies and procedures to ensure the safety of the food in our stores. We do not market any of our fish for raw consumption," Thomas said.

Calgary's amateur sushi chef recovered within a couple of days, Vaughan said, and has no long-term effects.

He doesn't know if the man ever made sushi at home again.
Alberta man contracts rare case of worms from Calgary grocery store salmon | EWW
I've never been one to eat raw fish (sushi) and will never try it....
Curious Cdn
Are those the type of worm that eat their way through your brain but are almost undetectable?
This sounds a little fishy to me.
Doctors warn about parasite in raw fish after tiny, toothed worms found in Calgary man
The Canadian Press
First posted: Friday, January 22, 2016 07:15 AM EST | Updated: Friday, January 22, 2016 07:24 AM EST
Calgary doctors say a rare parasite could become more common as uncooked culinary trends such as sushi, sashimi and ceviche grow in popularity.
A new report in the Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology examines the case of a Calgary man stricken by tiny parasitic worms in his stomach after eating raw, wild salmon from a grocery store.
The article says it's the first time the tiny, toothed worms have been found in a human after consuming Canadian store-bought salmon.
Dr. Stephen Vaughan from Calgary's South Health Campus led the study and reported the results.
The report says the 50-year-old man arrived in the emergency department with vomiting and upper abdomen pain about one hour after eating raw, wild salmon.
After X-rays and stool tests found nothing remarkable, doctors sent an endoscope camera inside the patient's stomach and spotted the worms -- between one and two centimetres long -- wriggling inside several stomach ulcers.
Two worms were removed and identified as anisakis, a parasitic worm that lives in fish and aquatic animals and leads to the condition anisakiasis.
"Although a skilled sushi chef will recognize the distinctive 'watch coil' appearance of the larval worms (approximately 1 centimetres to 2 centimetres) in raw fish, individuals preparing their own sushi may not," the report's authors wrote.
Researchers say that raw fish prepared at home can contain anisakis and other dangerous parasites because the fish may not have been frozen -- a process typically used by sushi restaurants that kills the tiny larvae.
Several provinces have regulations that ensure that raw fish is frozen before being served at restaurants, but grocery stores are often not included in such regulations.
To err on the side of caution, the report recommends that fish purchased from grocery stores be frozen at -20 C for a week -- or at a colder temperature for a shorter period of time -- before being eaten raw.
Doctors warn about parasite in raw fish after tiny, toothed worms found in Calga
Fish should be eaten fresh out of the water and fvcking cooked. Who in the hell invented eating raw damn fish, Gawd damn zombies.

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