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Can You Get Food Poisoning from Fish?

Can You Get Food Poisoning from Fish?


You CAN get food poisoning from fish.

Fish poisoning can occur when you eat fish that contains toxins. Symptoms of fish poisoning are similar to those of common food poisoning can include a headache, dizziness, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.


Ciguatera occurs when you ingest fish that contains the toxin Gambierdiscus toxicus, which is produced by marine micro algae. Additional symptoms of ciguatera can include neurological symptoms such as tingling fingers or toes. According to the Centers for Disease Control, fish known to carry this toxin are barracuda, black grouper, blackfin snapper, cubera snapper, dog snapper, greater amberjack, hogfish, horse-eye jack, king mackerel, and yellowfin grouper.

Tetrodotoxin Poisoning

Tetrodotoxin poisoning, also known as pufferfish poisoning or fugu poisoning occurs when you ingest marine life contaminated with tetrodotoxin, one of the most toxic poisons in nature. Symptoms of tetrodotoxin poisoning can include numbness of the lips and tongue, facial paralysis, convulsions, full body paralysis, respiratory failure, and death.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the animal life known to carry this toxin are pufferfish, the California newt, parrotfish, frogs of the genus Atelopus, the blue-ringed octopus, starfish, angelfish, and xanthid crabs.

Scromboid Poisoning

Scromboid poisoning occurs when you ingest fish that has been infected by the toxin, which normal bacteria found on the fish begin to produce if the fish is not refrigerated immediately. Symptoms of scromboid poisoning include a red face, flushing, hives and itching, nausea, vomiting, and breathing difficulty.

According to the National Institute of Health, the fish that are known to carry this toxin are dark meat fish such as tuna, Mackerel, mahi-mahi, and albacore.



“Harmful Algal Blooms: Ciguatera Fish Poisoning: Home | CDC HSB.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2012. .

“Food poisoning.” University of Maryland Medical Center | Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2012. .

“Poisoning – fish and shellfish: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Jan. 2012.

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