Fish-Associated Outbreaks: One of Most Common for Foodborne Illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study outlining fish-associated foodborne disease outbreaks over the past nearly two decades. The study, “Fish- Associated Foodborne Disease Outbreaks- U.S. 1998-2015”, shows that fish continue to be an important source of foodborne outbreaks, with tuna (37%), mahi-mahi (10%), and grouper (9%) being the types of fish most often linked to outbreaks. Three important things to know from the study include the following:

  • The majority (52%) of fish-associated outbreaks were prepared in restaurants and 33% with fish prepared in a home.  Illness-risk can be reduced by proper transporting, processing, cleaning, handling, cooking, and storing fish.
  • The most common causes of outbreaks are  Scombrotoxin (55%) and ciguatoxin (36%). These illnesses are not prevented by cooking.
  • The largest fish outbreaks are associated with Salmonella. Proper processing, refrigeration, cooking temperatures (145°F)  can prevent prevent Salmonella contamination.

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