Everything about histamine poisoning (scombrotoxic fish poisoning) – What kinds of fish can cause poisoning?

Fish poisoning, also called histamine poisoning or scombrotoxic fish poisoning, can occur if you eat fish that has been handled incorrectly. The symptoms, which occur relatively quickly, include intense redness of the face and a burning and tingling sensation.

Occasionally, restaurants or grocery stores serve fish where the raw material has been improperly handled or cooked and you may then suffer from histamine poisoning, which is a poisoning and not an infection.

Therefore, you may suffer from fish poisoning

If fish is handled or cooked improperly, a bacterial poison, toxin, can be formed in the fish. When the fish is handled incorrectly, the bacteria grow and most of the bacteria are probably involved.

Eating poisoned fish meat can cause histamine poisoning. It has also been reported after ingestion of other foods with high levels of histamine, such as some hard cheeses.

What fish species can cause poisoning?

The poisoning mainly occurs after eating poorly handled fish belonging to the Scombridae family.

These fish contain high levels of histidine which can be converted to histamine.

Fish species that can cause poisoning

  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Bonito
  • sardines
  • Mahi mahi
  • sword Fish

Symptoms of fish poisoning

The disease symptoms of fish poisoning are similar to those seen in histamine release in the body, hence the name histamine poisoning. You get sick relatively quickly, already within 15-60 minutes after eating the fish you can feel the symptoms and always within three hours. First, pepper flavor and warmth in the mouth usually arise, then redness, possibly urticaria and itching.

Common symptoms of fish poisoning

  • heat, stinging feeling
  • severe headache
  • pepper flavors taste in the mouth
  • intense redness, mainly on the face
  • palpitation
  • “body concern”
  • sometimes diarrhea, abdominal pain and difficulty breathing (not vomiting)

Treatment for fish poisoning

Although the symptoms can be perceived as both unpleasant and scary, they are usually quite harmless, go away within a few hours and leave no lasting but. If you are worried, however, always contact your health care provider for further advice. The diagnosis is usually made on the clinical picture and the diagnosis can also be verified if there is the possibility of rapid sampling of the food itself.

As a rule, no treatment is needed, but if you seek out care you can, for example, insert cortisone. You can also treat with antihistamines as well as possible bronchodilatants and adrenaline. However, the symptoms usually go on between 12-24 hours after they occur.

Preventive measures and notification

As far as preventive measures are concerned, it primarily concerns the food industry in the form of adhering to the rules on correct handling that are found and which apply to both transport and storage and cooking. Proper cooling storage of fish and proper handling when cooking it prevents poisoning.

There is no obligation to notify under the Forging Protection Act when it comes to histamine poisoning, however, according to the Food Act, it must be reported to the Environment Office or the equivalent in the municipality if the poisoning has arisen in so-called professional handling of the fish, for example when serving and consuming in a restaurant. A notification to the county council’s infection control physician is also recommended. It is important that notification is made as soon as possible to prevent any further spread of infection.

Facts Case of fish poisoning

The Public Health Authority reports that at one time at least 15 people became ill after eating fried mackerel at a restaurant. Reportedly, the fish had not been refrigerated prior to preparation and cooking. In 1999, ten people became ill after eating dug and fried barracuda fish at a restaurant. The fish was found to contain 200–2,000 mg of histamine/kg. Eleven of 96 people were affected by acute histamine poisoning about 30 minutes after eating lunch. Nine of them were taken to hospitals. The symptoms were redness, rash and palpitations. The fish have been imported frozen to USA and probably the fish have been handled inappropriately during the catch. Of: Anders Åker published: Wed, 2020-01-08 14:40

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