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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Would you like some Tapeworm with your Salmon?

Yet another risk of eating sashimi and sushi.

A tapeworm once thought to infect only fish in Asia has been found in salmon in Alaska.  A study was recently published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases.  In 2013 the Alaska Department of Fish and Game examined 64 wild Alaskan salmon.  The researchers discovered the Japanese broad tapeworm larvae measuring up to 15 millimeters long. Based on the findings, four species of Pacific salmon are now known to be carriers of the Japanese tapeworm infection – chum salmon, pink salmon, masu salmon, and sockeye salmon.

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The Japanese broad tapeworm, Diphyllobothrium nihonkaiense, was first recognized as a human parasite in 1986. It has been reported in 2,000 illnesses in Japan and other parts of Asia and is known to affect humans who eat infected fish in eastern Russia and Japan.