Parasitic Worms Are Showing Up in Sushi

Published by Michelle Kretzer.

This is the anisakis, a parasitic worm that lives in raw fish such as salmon, herring, cod, mackerel, squids, halibut, and red snapper. It also lives in human bodies.

As reported by CNN, when people swallow the anisakis larvae, the parasites attach to the stomach wall or intestines, causing pain, nausea, and vomiting and—for some people—digestive bleeding, obstruction, swelling, and a skin rash.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website states that:

“Some people experience a tingling sensation after or while eating raw or undercooked fish or squid. This is actually the worm moving in the mouth or throat.”

The CDC says that people can try to cough up the worm or remove it by hand. Once ingested, it can be surgically removed, or the worm will die after several weeks of living inside a human body.

As appealing as all those options sound, what sounds more appealing is fish-free vegetable-roll sushi. Every sushi restaurant has a variety of veggie rolls on the menu, and it’s insanely easy to make any roll you want vegan by swapping out fish for a vegetable. DIYers can check out PETA’s vegan Teriyaki Chicken Sushi Burrito, Sushi Burger, Kimbap (aka gimbap), and Shiitake-Tofu Rolls. And for fishy flavor without fishy inhabitants, try Gardein’s Golden Fishless Filets and Crabless Cakes, along with Sophie’s Kitchen Plant-Based Scallops and Smoked Salmon, all blissfully parasite-free.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind