Consumption of raw or undercooked seafood products that had not been previously frozen has been implicated in certain human parasitic infections. Table 4-10 lists the parasites and seafood choices that have been involved in previous documented illnesses. Incidence of parasitic infection is far more common in regions of the world where raw consumption is more frequent (Table 4-11). Seafoodborne infections are more prevalent in these regions than in the United States due to agricultural practices and reliance on freshwater sources that support the life cycle of certain hazardous parasites (Rodrick and Cheng, 1989; Sakanari et al., 1995). Since their adoption, HACCP programs, which include specific controls to prevent parasite infections, suggested incidence levels were underreported and expected to increase as consumer trends favored more consumption of raw selections (Jackson, 1975; Olson, 1986; McKerrow et al., 1988). The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) surveyed approximately 30 percent (996 members) of the active AGA practitioners located in coastal states along the Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, areas prone to parasite exposure (Personal communication, G. Hoskins, FDA Office of Seafood, December 2005). Survey respondents (over 58 percent) estimated

TABLE 4-10 Parasites and Products Involved in Documented Incidences of Parasitic Infection

Fishborne parasites involved in human infections resulting from consumptiona

Some raw and undercooked seafood dishes involved in parasitic infections for products and recipes that are not previously frozenb

  • Tapeworms (Cestodes)

Diphyllobothrium latum

Diphyllobothrium pacificum

  • Cold-smoked fish (low-temperature smoked fish)

  • Ceviche (raw fish in lime juice or other pickling)

  • “Drunken crabs” (crabs marinated in wine and pepper)

  • Dutch green herring (light pickled herring)

  • Flukes (Trematodes)

Clonorchis sinensis

Opisthorchis viverrini

Heterophyes heterophyes

Metagonimus yokogawai

  • Gravlax (type of cold-smoked salmon)

  • Hawaiian lomi lomi (chopped raw salmon with bell peppers and tomatoes)

  • Japanese “salad” (raw fish, fresh lettuce, and soy sauce)

  • Pacific Island poisson cru (raw fish fillet in a coconut milk recipe)

  • Roundworms (Nematodes)

Gnathostoma spinigerum

Capillaria philippinensis

Anisakis simplex

Phocanema spp.

  • Palu (fermented fish head and viscera recipe)

  • Philippine bagoong (a fermented paste made from whole fish)

  • Sashimi (raw fish slices)

  • Sushi (raw seafood with rice and seaweed)

  • Tako poki (Japanese and Hawaiian raw squid or raw octopus dish)

SOURCES: aHigashi, 1985; FDA, 2001a; bSakanari et al., 1995; FDA, 2001a.

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