December 3, 2016

Ciguatera Outbreak in 2014 Revealed by CDC’s MMWR Report

An outbreak of Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) that took place in 2014 in Florida has been revealed by a report in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). This illness is caused by eating predatory reef fish that have the toxin in their systems. This toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing and there is no antidote for it. On November 3, 2014, the Florida Department of health in Orange County received a report from their online foodborne illness complaint system that a patient describing paresthesias (tingling or burning sensation) and numbness had seen a doctor. That person got sick on October 31, 2014, one day after eating two meals of fish. A single case of ciguatera fish poisoning in Florida is considered an outbreak. Data sources identified five additional … [Read more...]

Do You Eat Fish? Learn About Ciguatera Food Poisoning

You don't often hear about ciguatera food poisoning, unless you are part of the fishing industry. This naturally occurring toxin found in fish can cause serious foodborne illness. Cooking does not deactivate the toxin, so even properly cooked seafood can make you sick. In the past few years, there have been several outbreaks and recalls related to this toxin. This type of food poisoning is responsible for the highest reported incidence of foodborne illness outbreaks linked to finfish around the world, according to a study published in Toxicon by Robert Dickey and Steven M. Plakaas. The algae that produces the toxin is usually located in the tropics, but these harmful algal blooms have been occurring in Texas, Florida, South Carolina, and Miami in recent years. As coral reefs deteriorate … [Read more...]

CDC Warns of Ciguatera Fish Poisoning in New York City

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report published February 1, 2013, ciguatera fish poisoning is addressed. From August 2010 to July 2011, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene received reports of six outbreaks and one single case of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) that sickened 28 people. In the previous ten years, there were only 21 people sickened with this toxin in New York City. Food Poisoning Bulletin has told you about this issue before. This illness used to occur only in the tropics, but the algae that produces the toxin, which fish eat, has now been found in the waters in Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and Miami. There are no practical field tests available to monitor fish for this toxin. The illness … [Read more...]

Rare Toxin Found in Fish Becoming More Common

Because of harmful algal blooms, a rare illness caused by a toxin in fish is becoming more common in the United States. Ciguatera poisoning is the most common seafood-related illness in the world. It used to occur only in fishing communities located in the tropics, but the algae that produces the toxin has been found in fish caught off the waters in Florida, Texas, South Carolina, and Miami and caused outbreaks. And the globalization of our food supply has caused outbreaks in Alaska and Ohio. Food poisoning usually occurs in several ways: You eat food infected with bacteria or viruses that cause an infection, or you ingest chemicals or toxins present in contaminated food. Parasites, prions (mad cow disease) and protozoa can also cause food poisoning. Ciguatera is a foodborne illness … [Read more...]

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