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Why fish and seafood poisoning spikes at this time of year, and how to avoid it

Director at the Western Cape Poison Information Centre, Dr Carine Marks talks to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about why fish and seafood poisoning increases at this time of year.

She explains that red tide is most prevalent in late summer and early autumn, and while not all red tides lead to poisoned shellfish, it is best to avoid eating.

If it is red tide then avoid shellfish.

Dr Carine Marks , Director - Western Cape Poison Information Centre

She says the second factor is at Easter time, the tradition of eating curried fish means higher consumption of fish. Increased demand may cause a break in the cold chain supply leading to fish going bad.

There are two separate issues, she says. One is food poisoning from fish that is old.

The other there is scombroid poisoning which occurs after the ingestion of fresh, canned or smoked fish with high histamine levels due to improper processing or storage.

Scombroid poisoning is, however, rare.

Dr Carine Marks , Director - Western Cape Poison Information Centre

Take a listen to her advice when eating fish and seafood below:


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