Botulism in fish: how to distinguish and avoid poisoning? Botulism: symptoms of the disease

Botulism is an infectious pathology that usually occurs in an acute form and affects the human nervous system. Doctors recognize that botulism is most common in fish, so when using these products, you need to exercise extra care. Which fish is more often infected with botulism? What symptomatology accompanies this disease? How to protect the body from poisoning?

botulism symptoms of disease


It is known that the causative agent of botulism in a calm state lives in the soil, including in the ooze, which is located on the bottom of fresh water bodies. Fish, which feed on algae, including low, can swallow the spores of the pathogen. There is an infection and development of botulism in fish.

It should be noted that the carriers of this disease often become herbivorous fish species. Predators are much less likely to get infected, although if the predator decides to eat fish that are botulism sick, infection is guaranteed.

In addition, infection can also occur from a fish corpse that decomposes in a jamb habitat. The carcass can be dangerous and throw out a wand called botulinus, which is the main causative agent of the infection. From which fish can you get botulism?

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Fish can be infected absolutely any. It does not matter where she lived. The most common types of infection are:

  • sturgeon;
  • all red fish;
  • herring;
  • burbot;
  • pike perch;
  • eels;
  • ;
  • perch;Large diameter carbide;
  • bream.

Of course, this is not the whole list of fish that can be infected, but all of these species are often the vectors of the disease.

It is also worth dispelling the myth that botulinum sticks are found only in freshwater fish. On the question of whether there is botulism in sea fish, the answer is yes. Infection occurs in the river, and in the lake, and in marine fish. The wand can live absolutely anywhere, because it lives in soil, and not in water.

How to understand that the fish is infected?

botulism in dried fish

Land animals can also be infected with this infection. According to their condition, you can immediately detect the presence of a particular pathology, but what about waterfowl, because their behavior can not be traced in any way?

In order to find out how to determine botulism in fish, you need to remember a few signs that can distinguish the infection:

  • A strange odor that does not occur in a fresh product.
  • If it is a question of canned food, botulism gives out a swollen jar or its lid.
  • Infected fish, as a rule, have unpleasant scales to the touch. There is a slippery coating.
  • The eyes of the fish are cloudy.
  • When the can is opened, loose contents are detected.

It should be noted that all these signs are not specific, for example, an unpleasant fishy smell may be present in uninfected, but stale products.

Toasting fish

Can I get rid of botulism in fish when frying?

In fact, this is the most dangerous method. Botulinus wand dies during heat treatment, but only after half an hour. As a rule, the fish fry fast, and in the pan it is not so much time, so this type of treatment is not recommended by doctors if there is a possibility of infection.

If after the purchase a person began to doubt that the fish is not infected with a stick, you can soak it for a while in any wine or lemon juice. With this method, meat is marinated in an acidic environment, which prevents the development of bacteria.

fish infected with botulism

Smoking against botulism

Smoking is also a bad way to treat infected fish. The fact is that cold smoking does not affect the development of spores and bacteria at all, and the hot one does not last very long.

When smoked, the carcass quickly turns brown and becomes fragrant, but due to the influence of high temperatures, the cooking time is greatly reduced.

Moreover, when a fish is smoked, a small amount of salt is used, and marinating is not done, so the botulinum stick feels fine and does not die with this method of processing vertebrates.

Drying and drying

Does botulism persist in dried fish? After all, when preparing it, a large amount of salt is used.

Before drying or drying, the fish should be thoroughly washed, cleaned and salted. It is important not to regret salt, because it is dried in the open air without exposure to high temperatures.

Once the fish is ready, it must be properly stored. This is the only way to protect yourself against infection with various diseases. Keep dried and dried fish can not be warm. But the cellar or refrigerator will fit perfectly. In the cold, the fish stays fresh longer.

botulism in fish

Before long storage, each carcass is best wrapped in parchment. Use of polyethylene is strictly prohibited, because:

  • in the plastic packaging product quickly damp;
  • excessive moisture leads to the development of harmful micro-organisms and to the propagation of Botulinum sticks.

Fish salted

Salted fish lovers should understand that the cooking process itself does not involve the use of high temperatures, so fish infected with botulism, and remains contagious to humans. However, there is a way to protect your health in this situation.

When preparing the main thing - do not feel sorry for the salt. Do not be afraid that the product will turn out to be tasteless, as the meat of fish will absorb as much salt as necessary. When pickling, fish should be poured with 18% brine. Then the causative agents of botulism cease their activity and the product can be eaten without harm to health.

It is better to prepare the process in the cold. To fish should be strictly in the refrigerator at a temperature of not more than 6 ° C.After cooking, keep it under the same conditions.

Only under such conditions the fish will be safe for human health and it can be eaten.

from what fish you can get botulism

Botulism: symptoms of the disease

If a person has been struck by this ailment, then it is necessary to pay attention to the symptomatology already in the early stages. Since this is a very serious infectious disease, early treatment is easier, and no serious harm to human health is inflicted.

How does botulinum initially manifest itself? Symptoms of the disease can be divided into:

  • gastroenteritis( severe abdominal pain, vomiting and dearea);
  • intoxication( temperature, malaise and general weakness in the body);
  • neurologic manifestations( poor eyesight, fog in the eyes, mesh before the eyes, doubling, swelling of the mucous, difficulty swallowing).

Later the disease begins to progress, and the patient has respiratory failure, decreased cardiovascular activity and paresis of the gastrointestinal tract.

In acute form, botulism often affects the human optic nerves. Patients often complain of poor vision and general weakness. Basic ophthalmologic symptoms in this pathology:

  • omission of the eyelid;
  • pupil increase;
  • different diameter of two pupils;
  • bad reaction to light;
  • reduction of visual acuity;The
  • person can not look at the tip of the nose.

how to determine botulism in fish

Also very often violated and respiratory functions. The disease can develop to the extent of the absence of a cough reflex and the impossibility of a deep inspiration.

How to protect yourself from infection?

Botulism in fish is now rare. The fact is that there are many ways that a person can protect his body from infection. When buying vertebrates, you must follow the strict rules, including:

  • When eviscerating carcasses it is important to carefully clean all the insides and wash the abdomen under running water several times.
  • Buy better only frozen fish. In chilled fish, a botulinum wand develops more often.
  • Cooking fish is necessary at a temperature above 100oC and at least 30 minutes. The best way is baking.
  • Fish canned food after opening is better to warm up in the oven.
  • When salting, add a large amount of salt.
  • If canned fish is prepared at home, it is important to carefully sterilize the containers before shaking.
  • Dried, dried or salted fish should only be stored in a cool place.
  • If at the autopsy of canned fish a bad smell has gone, the can should be discarded.
  • You can not buy swollen canned food.
  • It is better to buy fish in shops where documents are available. Do not buy products in non-specialized stores, private traders, fishermen, etc.

These rules are very simple, and it is not difficult to comply with them at all. Do not try to save money by buying cheap fish. It is better to do it where the quality is checked.

is botulism in sea fish

It should always be remembered that botulism is a difficult, although curable, disease. In the absence of competent treatment, the disease can seriously harm people's health, and in some cases, the fight against the disease can result in even a fatal outcome.