June 30, 2017

Fishy story

You might have seen a story in the Guardian (don’t click while you’re eating), headlined “Popularity of sushi has brought rise in parasitic infections, warn doctors“.

There’s a link (also not safe for dinner) to a single case report of anisakiasis in Portugal attributed to sushi. The case report says

Most of the cases were described in Japan due to food habits; however, it has been increasingly recognised in Western countries.2 ,3

If you follow those references, you find a report of 2 cases in Italy, due to marinated raw anchovies, and 25 cases in Spain, due to marinated raw anchovies.

Anisakiasis is now being diagnosed in western countries, but if we can believe the evidence behind this story the cases are mostly from traditional European food practices, not because of  sushi.


Thomas Lumley (@tslumley) is Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Auckland. His research interests include semiparametric models, survey sampling, statistical computing, foundations of statistics, and whatever methodological problems his medical collaborators come up with. He also blogs at Biased and Inefficient See all posts by Thomas Lumley »