Sushi-To Eat Or Not To Eat-That Is The Question

I generally like my food well cooked and eating raw anything just doesn't sit mentally well with me, but to each his own appetites.

Many people indulge in eating sushi and many others wonder if it is safe to eat, so here's a little information on the topic of, "Is sushi safe to eat"...

Sushi-To Eat Or Not To Eat-That Is The Question
How risky is the raw fish in sushi? California Health Services researchers recently studied seven risky foods that can carry infections, and what should appear on their list? You guessed it: raw fresh fish.

Properly prepared and handled sushi fish is safer than other raw fish, but it’s obviously not as safe as cooked fish, says Erica Weis, a research scientist with the California Department of Health Services.

The good news: According to Phillip Spiller, former director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Seafood, generally, seafood is very safe to eat. He says that on a pound-for-pound basis, seafood is at least as safe as other meat sources. But he adds that no food is completely safe.

The bad: If you do encounter raw fish parasites, the effects can range from mild discomfort to severe illness, depending on the type of worm you ingest, according to the Environmental Nutrition newsletter. If the culprit is a tapeworm, fluke, or flatworm, you may not even know it until it passes out in your stool. Or you might experience nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.

And the ugly: If the worm you swallow is the roundworm (Anisakis simplex), it may tickle your throat as it is swallowed, causing you to cough or vomit it up. Or it can bore into your stomach or gut lining, causing severe abdominal inflammation and pain that mimics appendicitis or an ulcer, often within an hour of eating. Getting the worm out at this point is no simple matter – it requires an endoscope or surgery.

The cure: Commercial freezing for at least 72 hours at 4 degrees Fahrenheit kills the parasitic worms and their larvae. Please note, though, that home freezers usually can’t reach temperatures this low.

So what’s a sushi lover to do?
- Order sushi from reputable restaurants, where the restaurant and fish provider follow food safety standards. You can ask if the fish has been previously frozen.

- Completely cooked is always the safest way to eat fish

- The FDA recommends that you don’t risk eating raw fish if you’re pregnant or have a compromised immune system.

- Don’t make your own sushi with raw fish unless you can freeze the fish for more than 72 hours at 4 degrees Fahrenheit. Instead, use cooked fish or vegetables.

One thing to remember all food should be checked before eating, and a perfect example why sushi is high up on the list is seen in this video:

What are your thoughts on eating sushi??