Be sure and check your sushi’s source

December 21, 2013

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The sushi eating craze has been going on for years as many folks across the country enjoy sushi.

Most of the younger generation, including my children, regularly indulge in the raw fish bar. I am not a big fan of raw fish, but I do enjoy eating cooked fish.

Eating raw fish is generally not a bad thing, though eating raw freshwater fish that is not cured correctly could infect you with a tape worm. Apparently most saltwater fish don’t carry this infection called “Diphyllobothrium.” Therefore, you are more than likely okay at the Sushi bar.

Typically, most people who are infected with Diphyllobothrium have little or no symptons at all, especially early in the infection. However, some symptoms can include abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss.

Vitamin B12 losses due to the infection may lead to anemia. Some complications include intestinal obstruction and gall bladder disease.

There are several types of these worms, some of which can grow up to 30 feet long. Diagnosis is made by identification of eggs or segments of the tapeworm in a stool sample with a microscope.

Eggs are usually numerous, but more than one stool sample may be needed to find them.

This infection is easily treated with medication (praziquantel or niclosamide are used most often).

Examples of fish to be sure and cook thoroughly include salmon, trout, perch, walleyed pike, and other species — usually freshwater fish. Some fish such as salmon live in both fresh and salt water and can harbor Diphyllobothrium larvae. Lightly salted, smoked, or pickled fish also may contain infectious organisms.

Diphyllobothrium infection generally occurs in the Northern Hemisphere (Europe, newly independent states of the Former Soviet Union, North America, Asia), but has been reported in Uganda and Chile. Fish infected with Diphyllobothrium larvae may be transported to and consumed in any area of the world.

What is the best way to avoid this infection? The best answer is to not eat raw or undercooked fish. The FDA recommends the following for fish preparation or storage to kill parasites:

1. Cooking – Cook fish adequately (to an internal temperature of at least 145° F [~63° C]).

2. Freezing – At -4°F (-20°C) or below for 7 days (total time), or at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid, and storing at -31°F (-35°C) or below for 15 hours, or at -31°F (-35°C) or below until solid and storing at -4°F (-20°C) or below for 24 hours.

I don’t want to scare anyone as this infection is fairly rare, but it can happen. I regularly eat fish, and fish is great food. I would make sure you cook your freshwater fish thoroughly as most do.

There are some folks who make freshwater fish raw dishes such as ceviche and sushi, and those folks will be at risk if they don’t cure by freezing first. I understand that you cannot get infected with fresh raw oysters, which is good news for many who enjoy them on the half shell.

So again, I hope I did not affect your ability to enjoy our freshwater bounty. I do believe this knowledge of a possible infection is good information to know, especially with the raw fish eating craze that has been growing in popularity for many years.

Keep the oil hot for the freshwater fish!

Hood County Fishing Report

Water temperatures are in the low to middle 40s with the recent cold snaps. Temperatures will rebound some this week. Sand bass and black bass action continue to be good on Granbury if you can get on the water.

Granbury is about 9 feet low and falling. Sand bass continue to be good on slabs worked on feeding flats near dropoffs. Birds hovering can point you right to active fish.

Black bass are good on soft plastics near main lake points. Many black bass are schooling with the sand bass.

Whitney and Possum Kingdom sand bass are good to excellent on the main lake. Look for the birds.

Crappie are fair to good in the river above Whitney on small crappie jigs in white and bubblegum colors.

Hybrid striper action is good on bass assassins and swimbaits on Benbrook, Bridgeport and Lewisville. Best striper action is on Texoma, where limits can be taken fairly easily. Best action is reported on the north end in the Washita River and in the main lake near North Island and in the Red River west of the 377 bridge.

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Category: Sports Archived