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Old 17-12-2006, 18:42   #1
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Be Aware of this Fish Poisoning

Hi Everyone,

As I sit here typing, I'm coming down (hopefully!) from a case of Scrombroid poisoning. I have known about ciguatera for some time, but never really knew about scrombroid. It hits fast and is pretty fierce. In fact, one way they diagnose it is that it hits in 30 minutes or less. My wife and I got it by purchasing fish at a grocery store. YUCK! Never going to do that again. Fresh from the market or fisheman is the only way to go.

The poisoning is a result of bacteria in the fish (that is left out in the heat a while) turning histine to histamine. It's like pouring an allergic reaction right into your body. It hurts you.

I have a few hours left to deall with the symptoms (flush face, massive bathroom trips, vomiting, shortness of breath, etc...)

So just be aware of this type of thing if you don't know exactly where your fish came from.
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Old 17-12-2006, 20:14   #2
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Sully ... would you have your wife check your backside ... I suspect there might be a stick-on-sign that says something like "Kick Me!" . ::;shaking head:: And the gods appear to be listening.
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Old 17-12-2006, 20:28   #3
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Thomas, I think it's a tatoo, unfortunately.
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Old 17-12-2006, 22:47   #4
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Remember to drink lots of water. Hope you get better SOON!!!!
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Old 17-12-2006, 23:19   #5
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Yikes, the name sounds bad enough, let alone the illness. Sounds like something you would catch in ways other than eating a fish if ya get my drift.
Surely the fish must have tasted strange?
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Old 18-12-2006, 03:25   #6
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Sorry to hear you're ill, Sean.

Histamine fish poisoning (HFP) is a chemical intoxication that occurs after eating bacterially contaminated (spoiled) fish of the dark meat varieties, such as the families of Scombridae or Scomberesocidae, which has lead to the common usage of the term, "scombroid fish poisoning", to describe the illness. However, certain non-scombroid fish, cheeses, and other foodstuffs have been reported to cause HFP.

The fish are non-toxic when caught, but develops increase in histamine content (Scombrotoxin) with decomposition as bacterial numbers increase. They may look and smell normal, and cooking does not destroy the histamine.

Goto” eMedicine - Toxicity, Marine - Histamine In Fish : Article by Daniel Noltkamper, MD, FACEP
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Old 18-12-2006, 03:56   #7
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If the appearance of the fish is normal, no evil smell and cooking does not kill, how can you avoid it? We eat lots of fish and certainly would not want to contract what Sean did.
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Old 18-12-2006, 04:25   #8
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Prevention of Histamine Fish (HFP) or Scromboid poisoning:
Histamine formation in fish depends on the temperature at which the fish is kept from the time it is caught until it is consumed. Therefore, in order to avoid Scombroid Poisoning, it is very important to transport and store fish under refrigeration.
Refrigerate fish (< 41 F or 5 C) from the time of capture* to the time it is cooked.
Fish with a bad odor, sharp taste, or honey-combed appearance should not be consumed (these indicators are only occasionally present).

* Fish caught in nets can develop histamine in warmer conditions.
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Old 18-12-2006, 05:19   #9
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What Gord posted is absolutely accurate. The real issue in my case is/was poor handling of a line caught fish. Further to that point, it was some lazy person not doing their job well - letting the fish sit out on the boat, in the fish processing facility, etc...

Our fish had no evidence of the histamines present.

So... the way to prevent it is to make sure you know where your fish comes from. Buy fresh.
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Old 18-12-2006, 05:26   #10
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At one time in my life I managed a small seafood cannery, I always found that fish frozen on board was the freshest. Often on a boat that is out for a week or so the fish in on ice, so that while it may be refrigerated it is starting to degrade. By the time they land and unload the fish the product could be over a week old, then it is transfred to a fish market then sits there for a day or so. The fish is old. Flash frozen on board, if properely done is as good as it gets.
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