Get More Than Sushi With Your Sushi

Leslie Kollar | Health Musings
Get More Than Sushi With Your Sushi

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Eating sushi can be hazardous, but then again so can eating healthy

I don't eat sushi. I don't like it for one, but the thought of eating raw fish really does turn my stomach.  And to top it off in 2012 there was an outbreak of salmonellosis in the United States when over 250 people became ill in over 20 states. The outbreak was traced to tuna scrape from India – which looks like ground meat and is made from the scrapings of fish bones.

Now I admit to having a real 'thing' about the association of fish and worms, but the reality is that raw fish could introduce you to the roundworm Anisakis simplex. Not an introduction you likely will appreciate given that they lodge in your intestines, and if they don't come out by way of natural processes, you may need surgery to dislodge the little buggers from your gut.

If worms, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, fever and countless hours in the bathroom doesn't talk you out of a raw fish maybe iodine poisoning, septicemia, meningitis, and mercury poisoning might.

In its defense raw fish is not the only culprit that can bring you to your knees. According to Men's Health magazine the 10 most contaminated foods are:

  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Ground turkey
  • Raw oysters
  • Eggs
  • Cantaloupe
  • Peaches
  • Prepackaged lettuce
  • Cold cuts
  • Scallions

To add insult to injury contaminated foods can also include some of our 'healthiest' foods including leafy greens, potatoes, tomatoes, sprouts and berries. The E coli 2011 European outbreak that claimed over 50 lives was traced to, you guessed it…sprouts.

Food borne illness is a worldwide problem. Salmonella and E coli are the usual offenders but the notorious norovirus, listeria and hepatitis A are not far behind. In the U.S. the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates over 200,000 people are sickened on a daily basis. New York University's Philip Tierno, author of "The Secret Life of Germs" figures the true rate is about 800,000 a day.

Not all sushi is bad, not all parts of the puffer fish will kill you, not all eggs have salmonella, not all sprouts or ground meat have E coli, but the moral of the story is unless you like spending hours doubled over the porcelain throne take a few minutes to wash your hands, your fruits and veggies, cook those eggs and grind your own meat - better to be safe than sorry.

Leslie Kollar has over 20 years of experience in the health care field in both the U.S. and Canada. She has worked professionally in medical offices and hospital administration, using her BA in Communications/Public Relations and MBA in Marketing. She has also seen the other side of the health care coin as a 15 year cancer survivor. As a survivor she is passionate that each and every person is and should be responsible for their own health - and with this passion she hopes to inspire, inform and educate through HealthWorldNet. Leslie can be reached at LK Communications [email protected]   

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