06 food poisoning seafood

Wanted: Food Poisoning Culprits – #4

We are getting closer to the food poisoning bronze medal (although this is not a competition you would want to win in particular). Let us get a closer look at the fourth most dangerous food.

#4 Food Poisoning Culprit – Shellfish

This may not come as a surprise, but shellfish tops our list as the number fourth most dangerous food to eat. Why is that? Shellfish, such as oysters, clams and mussels contain potent toxins – known as marine toxins, which can cause food poisoning. These are caused by bacteria and viruses which invade shellfish, and other types of fish via consumption of contaminated algae or marine organisms in the surrounding water.

Shellfish get their toxins from algae-like organisms called dinoflagellates (plankton). This toxin can cause either paralytic, neurotoxic, diarrhoeic or amnesic poisoning. Vomiting, nausea and darrhoea are all common symptoms.

Some types of shellfish poisoning are impossible for you to kill the toxin. No amount of heating or freezing can kills it. But for some other toxins, it will be easier. If shellfish is cooked thoroughly and at the correct temperature then it should not result in food poisoning. Many species of shellfish contain bacteria such as e. coli and viruses which include norovirus but these are destroyed during cooking.


Wanted – The Top Ten Food Poisoning Culprits

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