Currently, it’s the season for mackerel. When exposed to a black light, there are over 200 Anisakis skeletons and mackerels… Nationwide, there is an increasing incidence of “food poisoning,” and “abdominal pain” is gnawing. “We asked the experts for prevention methods (NBS Nagano Broadcasting) – Yahoo News
Hello everyone. Today, I will introduce a shocking video that has recently become a hot topic on social media. It is a video of over 200 parasites called “Anisakis” on the surface of mackerel internal organs. This video was filmed by faculty members of the Department of Parasitology and Department of Infectious Diseases at the University of Miyazaki Medical School with the aim of providing correct knowledge about Anisakis and posted it on X (formerly Twitter).
- What is Anisakis?: Anisakis is a parasitic worm that infects fish such as mackerel, horse mackerel, and saury through plankton and small fish, hatching from eggs laid by adult worms living in the stomachs of dolphins and whales. The body is approximately 2 cm long and 0.5 mm wide, and it emits a white light when exposed to a black light. When humans eat raw fish, the larvae of Anisakis enter the digestive tract, potentially causing intense abdominal pain and nausea. This is known as Anisakis food poisoning.
- Rapid increase in Anisakis food poisoning: According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, cases of Anisakis food poisoning are increasing nationwide. In 2019, there were 336 cases, 396 cases in 2020, 354 cases in 2021, and 578 cases in 2022 reported. In fact, it is estimated that there are 2,000 to 3,000 cases of food poisoning caused by Anisakis. Nagano Prefecture has been reporting cases every year, and one infection has been confirmed in 2023 so far, with mackerel suspected as the cause.
- Points to prevent Anisakis food poisoning: To prevent Anisakis food poisoning, please pay attention to the following points.
- When eating raw fish, choose the freshest possible: An increase in freshness makes it easier for Anisakis larvae to migrate from the viscera to the body. Also, the internal organs of the fish should be discarded or thoroughly cooked before consumption.
- Check with a black light before eating raw fish: Anisakis larvae are easier to find when exposed to a black light, as they emit white light. If found, use tweezers to remove them.
- Be sure to freeze raw fish thoroughly: Anisakis larvae will die if frozen at -20°C for more than 24 hours. For a household freezer, it is recommended to freeze at -18°C or lower for more than 48 hours. Thawed frozen fish should be consumed immediately.
- After eating raw fish, carefully observe for symptoms: Symptoms of Anisakis food poisoning appear within hours to days after eating. If symptoms such as intense abdominal pain or nausea occur, seek immediate medical attention. Anisakis larvae can be removed using endoscopy or medication.