Scombroid poisoning is caused by the eating of specific types of fish that have been temperature abused, which causes allergic reaction symptoms.
Symptoms – typical allergy symptoms, eg; tingling / burning around the mouth, flushes of the face, nausea, vomiting, headaches, fever, palpitations
Onset – depending upon the individual – two minutes to several hours
Duration – depending upon the individual – several hours to several days
Cause – specific fish types not being kept at less than 5°C (41° F) after catching, allow bacteria present to work on the flesh and produce histamines. These cause the allergic reaction.
Treatment – most will not need but depending upon the individual antihistamines and other support may be required.
Likelihood – not common
- Keep fish (and other potentially hazardous foods) below 5°C (41° F)
- Only buy from reputable businesses
- Only buy good looking quality fish
- Cooking does not destroy the histamines
A video explain the causes and prevention of Scombroid poisoning can be seen here
Written by Rachelle Williams – the Green Food Safety Coach