sushi

Jack J. O'Brien jobrien at JAGUAR1.USOUTHAL.EDU
Fri Oct 13 17:22:06 EST 1995


Dear Steve: 

At the 1992 meeting of the Southeastern Society of Parasitologists, Tom
Deardorff gave the after-banquet address entitled, "If You Knew Sushi Like
I Knew Sushi."  It was quite memorable as we had just stuffed ourselves on
Gulf Coast cuisine.  From what I remember of his talk, Tom pointed out
that many large mammal piscivores (sea lions in particular) have expanded
their range considerably since they have been protected.  As their range
expands, these predators bring with them their parasites which eventually
infect intermediate the hosts upon which they feed.  Consequently, people
began getting Anisakis nematodes in their stomachs after eating some
species of marine fish raw.  The sushi industry has responded by quick
freezing or "blast freezing" their fish (in liquid nitrogen, I think)
which kills the nematodes. The flesh is then thawed and truthfully sold as
"uncooked."  So, in answer to the question as to whether sushi is OK to
eat the answer is "Yes" if the fish have been treated to kill the
nematodes, but "maybe not" if the fish was caught by a buddy in places
were marine mammals feed and plopped fresh on the table using a home-made
recipe. 

I believe Tom Deardorff can be reached at International Paper; Erling 
Riis Research Lab; POB 2787; Mobile, AL 36652 (334) 470-3274.

Happy eating!

Jack O'Brien
University of South Alabama




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