(Bihar Times) Who does not love a bargain – buy one , get one free ? Here is a great bargain that has escaped the eye of fish eaters. For every fish you eat, you get a couple of worms as well which stay alive long after the fish is dead.
How serious is the problem of worms in fish? An international standard, Codex Alimentarius, allows a maximum of 5 worms of more than 1 cm in length in 1 kg of fish. Why is there no warning on fish? Would you buy fish if it had a warning on it about worms?
The most common are roundworms, tapeworms and flukes.
Roundworms are of the Anisakis family. Anisakis simplex or herring worm is found in all warm water fish like herrings, mackerels and whitings and a large number of coldwater fish as well. It is found in all nearshore fish. It grows up to 2 cm long , is almost colourless, and is found tightly coiled and encased in the guts and flesh.
Rhexanella verrucosa is a hooked worm that attaches itself to the tongue of the fish and helps itself to whatever the host fish eats.
The Phocanema worm or codworm grows up to 4 cm long and varies in colour from creamy white to dark brown. It curls up and encases itself in a sac-like membrane produced by fish tissue. Most fillets( boneless pieces) , specially mackerel fillets are infested with these skinny milky colour see-through one inch long coiled worms.
The fish eater can pull the large ones out – if you are watching out for them. But if you buy them from on ice they stay tightly coiled within the flesh of the fish so you only see the red or black pinhead on the body of the fish. Anisakis larvae are resistant to salting. So are anchor worms which are thread-like worms that attach themselves to the head of the fish. Never pull out the worms using force, since the head of the worm will stay attached to the head of the fish and grow a new body.
The fish industry does not deny that there are worms in fish. They claim that they are harmless if eaten ( after all , if you can survive the mercury and the human feces in fish , then what are a couple of worms ?) as long as the fish is cooked. But there have been many cases reported in which worms – anisakids – have been found wriggling around in fish that have been microwaved. When there are worms in the fish, it is also likely there are eggs, too. They withstand heat better than mature worms so are more likely to be ingested while still viable. Roundworms in ﬁsh may be found in muscle tissues, in internal organs, or in the intestinal tract. When chilled, they stay tightly coiled within the flesh of the fish. As they warm up, they come wriggling out to be seen.
Another typical fish parasite is the fish tapeworm. It can live many years in the intestines. There is a worm called giant stomach worm (Hirudinella ventricosa) which can grow to longer than a man’s hand. Freshwater fish like trout and salmon may carry tapeworm larvae. These are small, whitish, and somewhat flabby worms that can live in the human intestinal tract for several years. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, weakness, weight loss and anemia.
Flukes are among the largest groups of parasites affecting marine ﬁshes. Flukes are similar in shape to tapeworms, but are shorter and broader. Some ﬂukes are enveloped in cysts and can be seen only through a microscope. The dark pigments that occasionally appear around these cysts can be seen with the naked eye and is referred to as “black spot disease.”
Flatworms are transparent when alive, but turn white when they die: Heavy infections cause irritability, and anorexia. Gill flukes are brown , thin flatworms that look like tiny blobs and feed on blood. Infections can cause emaciation, lethargy and anaemia. Sea-lice scuttle around on the surface of the fish and can cause irritation and anaemia in heavy infections. All these can be removed from the fish by using hydrogen peroxide but to dip your fish in that and then eat it would cause its own problems.
What are the effects on human beings. Anisakiasis is a parasitic infection of the gastrointestinal tract which causes stomach flu like symptoms and permanent allergic reactions to chemicals left by the worms in fish flesh. The symptoms of these disease are : Within hours after ingestion of infective larvae, violent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Occasionally the larvae are coughed up. If the larvae pass into the bowel, a severe allergic response may also occur 1 to 2 weeks following infection, causing symptoms mimicking Crohn's disease. Acute allergic manifestations such as urticaria(rash) and anaphylaxis (shortness of breath)may occur with or without gastrointestinal symptoms. Asthma, conjunctivitis, and contact dermatitis have been observed in fish processing workers who come into contact with live worms. In some cases infection can lead to small bowel obstruction, which may require surgery.
Codworms are particularly common in white fish , cod, haddock, flounder, sole, and halibut, swordfish and monkfish. If you examine tuna you will probably see wriggling, very narrow pink worms. Deep sea fish like salmon have dark coiled worms . Frozen flounder fillets have little circles on them with a small reddish string in the center of the circle which unwinds and moves out of the circle. In shrimps , the parasites are too small to see but all fish ranging from sardines to squid ,cuttlefish and sharks have them. Warmwater fish that typically harbor parasites are mackerel, sea trout, shrimp, and eel, amberjack., catfish large saltwater fish. Worms appear like thin white strings. The most common fish to be infected with tapeworm are salmon, pike, perch, lake trout, grayling, orange roughy, and turbot. If you see spots in the muscle, those are worms. German television recently did a series on worms in supermarket fish. They showed worm larvae in the bellies and flesh, as well as live ones in jars of pickled herring in the supermarket .
If you eat lightly cooked fish – sushi or sashimi - you probably will swallow live worms. The only way to reduce the numbers of worms is to inspect the fish . Visual inspection of fillets will reveal worms embedded near the surface; these can be removed easily with a knife. Worms embedded deep in the flesh are not immediately obvious, but some can be detected by candling, that is, shining a bright light through the meat. Worms show up as dark shadows in the flesh, and can be removed with forceps or a knife.
Happy eating !
To join the animal welfare movement contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Fish eating causes health hazard
Animal sacrifice in Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand
Difference between Veg and Non-veg
Virgin Mary among Lizards
Nature-the most inspiring model for our Ecosystems
Role of denial in eating of Meat
The Technology of Synthetic Milk
Honeybee-the insect for human food chain
Why do dogs bark
Characteristics of varieties of caterpillars
Emotional Complexity of Animals
Meat eating causes diseases
Rat in Hindu mythology
Which animal you are
Man’s alter ego-an Animal
Career in management of welfare of Animals
Profession of Pet grooming
What you Eat When you Eat Processed Meat
How to train a dog to make it useful
The Purpose of Minor Beings in Our Ecosystem
Cruelty to Bears in Pakistan
How Onion Drives Away Viruses
How to save an animal from burn injury
Production of Honey is cruelty to Bee
Meat eating causes Global warming
Hazards of fish factories
Growth of a bird till it flies
Creatures of the world live and help live
Killing a snake brings bad luck
Effects of the startle Reflex on Animals
Awaken Your Soul by Loving Animals
Feeling of grief in Animals
Altruism in Animals
Music Soothes Animals
How Animals recognize their Kins
Animals teach their offspring like human moms
Cruelty to Animals in Slaughter houses
What is the secret to a perfect life and happiness?
How is Ghee being adulterated ?
Difference between a man & an animal
Homosexuality Is Not Against Nature In Animal Kingdom
Programmes for improving Animal Welfare
Promiscuity in mating behaviour of Birds
Uses for slaughtered Animals accelerate killing of Animals
Slingshots & Catapults Destroy Wild Life
Human Intelligibility of Animals
Animal grooming of offspring is worth emulating
Illegal Trade of Killing Cattle
Eating Cattle Meat Causes E Coli Infection
Some tips on making Puppies’ life comfortable
Some tips on keeping kittens clean
Snake skin trade dangerous for eco system
Dog shows are not for dog lovers but for moneymakers and charlatans
Political agenda for Animal welfare needed
How foolish it is to kill Sea creatures for Ornaments
Infectious diseases from Animals to Humans
How pitiable is Rabbit farming?
Remedies for Animal ailments
Infected Pig Meat Risks Your Life
Animals spread dangerous Ebola virus to humans
Animals Have More Sense
Municipal Policy on hazards of pet shops
Mutualism makes Species of the nature flourish
Adoption Fair for Puppies
How Animals behave in packs
Why People prefer dogs and cats to human beings
Positive effects of spaying and neutering on pets
Mammals & Birds cry like human beings
Biomemetics Provides solution to human problems
Chinese food products- the greatest killer
Pets make better partners than humans
How harmful is the Packaged Meat
Stop Slaughter of Cows for Bone Trade
How cruel it is to dump pet animals ? view comments...
Don’t hurt animals on festive occasions
Let the earth beings survive
Glues are made of animal remains
Meat increases risk of cancer
Birds provide springboard to song composers
Is it not an act of Cannibalism?
How many animals do you have to eat before you become man ?
To eat or not to eat Meat
Insulin from Animals
Is It Healthy Decision to Promote Rat Eating in Bihar
Use of Animal bones in Porcelain
Infection of Tick disease in Dogs and its cure
Vegetarian diet is the best diet for human beings
Non-Veg Diet causes Dementia
Excuses for being non-vegetarians
Body odour of Non-vegetarians
MEAT threatens Planet’s Survival
Am I smarter than you ? Yes, if you are a meat eater.
Need to orient educational system to deal with animals
How to Avoid Cruelty to Gold Fish?
How To Make Everyday An Animal day
Are Eggs Vegetarian?
Are You One of these People ?
Use of Animal Fats in Cosmetics Industries
Killing of endangered Species for Perfume Industries
Missionary Campaign to Control Cruelty to Animals- needed
Drink Milk, Get Sick
Parents Create Monsters
The Business of Murder:Factory Farming and the Meat Industry in India
Effect of landscaping of birds on environment
Dangers of killing deep Sea-Sharks for Cosmetic Products
Use of dog in diagnosis of diseases
Sacred Nature of Neelkanth
Cruelty to Polo Ponies comments...
Self-Regulation of Population by Animals
Dangers of Animal meat eating
Arsenic poison in chicken feed
Cruelty to Animals by Govt. Vets
Worship of God with Blood and Suffering of Animals and Birds
Consequences of Chloramphenicol in Shrimp Industry
Hazards of Trade in Peacocks’ Feather
Supreme Court Ban on cruelty to Animals
Are you a Bad Pet Owner?
The Goat That Laughed and Wept
Animal Owners’ personality traits resemble their Pets’
Human Propensities of Goat
sacrifice at the altar of religion
as foster parent
feed from rendering plant
Intelligence of Birds
Human Propensities of Cow