A Japanese man has almost gone blind after eating raw chicken sashimi.
The man, who has not been named, became infected by a parasite that lead to him developing growths in his lungs and liver via a disease called toxocariasis, which is caused by roundworm parasites.
He fell ill ten days after eating the raw chicken sashimi, attending Saiseikai Fukuoka General Hospital with complaints about stomach pains that were traced back to a meal that he ate that featured chicken that had been seared but remained raw in the middle, reports the British Medical Journal.
The man was eventually treated and made a full recovery, but the dangers were still clear. If left untreated, the roundworm parasite can lead to blindness.
“A healthy 34-year-old Japanese man presented with a 10-day history of epigastralgia,” read the BMJ case report. “He had eaten seared chicken sashimi several times. Physical examination findings were not remarkable.”
“Toxocariasis is a parasitic disease caused by the larvae of the roundworm Toxocara canis or Toxocara cati,” it continued.
“Toxocariasis occurs in children who accidentally ingest dirt containing Toxocara eggs, and in adults who eat undercooked or raw meat from infected animals or organic vegetables contaminated with Toxocara eggs.”
“Toxocariasis is considered a neglected parasitic infection; however, it is more common than currently believed and can cause severe complications.
“The condition is treatable and preventable, but remains underdiagnosed and underappreciated.”
Experts have long warned against eating raw chicken, including chicken sashimi, which is considered a delicacy in parts of Japan.
“Some claim that raw foods are more nutritious than cooked foods because enzymes, along with some nutrients, are destroyed in the cooking process,” nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert, told the Independent.
“Yet, some foods contain unsafe bacteria and microorganisms that are only eliminated by cooking. Eating a completely raw diet that includes fish and meat comes with a risk of developing a foodborne illness. Depending on where you’re eating, there may be better or worse food safety standards.
“In the UK, the NHS suggests campylobacter bacteria are the most common cause of food poisoning. This bacteria along with salmonella and e.coli are usually found on raw or undercooked meat, especially chicken.
“Another concern is cross-contamination which can happen if you prepare raw chicken on a chopping board and don’t wash the board before preparing food that won’t be cooked such as salad.”
Careful with the chicken sashimi then, LADs.
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