Increasing number of fish parasites
The number of Anisakis parasites most commonly found in fish has increased significantly in recent decades. This growing trend may pose food safety risks.

The increasing trend, which may be further exacerbated by adulteration, is supported by several studies, such as Fiorenza et al. (2020) or Kent et al. (2020).

For the first time, the parasite Sulcascaris sulcata, also of the genus Anisakis, was identified in edible scallops, a parasite that is basically found in sea turtles. Larvae of the nematode have been identified in species of Pecten jacobeus and Aequipecten opercularis collected from the North Adriatic Sea.

The Anisakis larvae are found in the muscles and visceral organs of fish, and humans are infected by eating raw fish.

The larvae pierce the stomach wall and cause symptoms within minutes or hours of ingestion: abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

Other less common parasitic diseases include gnathostomiasis, in which the larvae migrate through the skin causing symptoms, intestinal capillariasis and paragonimiasis (pulmonary metritis).

Freezing kills parasites, so European, including Hungarian, standards require fish for raw consumption to be stored at -20°C for more than 24 hours.

The growing trend could pose potential food safety risks.


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