July 15, 1988

If Your Uneaten Food Moves, Take It to a Doctor

Author Affiliations

The Reading (Pa) Hospital and Medical Center

The Reading (Pa) Hospital and Medical Center

JAMA. 1988;260(3):340-341. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410030056021

To the Editor.—  Anisakiasis is a common nematode parasitic disease of sea and saltwater-bay creatures present in both Atlantic and Pacific waters.1 Humans who eat raw or inadequately cooked shellfish and other fish infested with this parasite may become infected. There is no simple, reliable, or economically practical method to eliminate contaminated seafood from the food supply. Heretofore, this has been an inconsequential problem, since adequate cooking (raising the temperature to 60°C for five minutes) kills the larvae, making the food safe for consumption.2 But the recent proliferation of sushi bars and the increased popularity of uncommon foods containing raw fish as an ingredient have further focused attention on this infrequently diagnosed disease.2,3

Report of a Case.—  In January 1988, a housewife prepared locally purchased haddock in a new microwave oven. The woman and her son each consumed portions of the fish, while the remaining third portion