Scombrotoxin Fish Poisoning – Have you ever had allergic symptoms after eating certain types of fish? if you mistakenly to consume spoiled fish meat, in less than two hours your skin becomes red and itchy, even though you don’t have a history of allergies to certain food. If you have ever eaten fish and are experiencing allergies, you may have scombrotoxin poisoning in fish. This occurs when people consume fish that are not properly handled, giving growth to biogenic amines such as histamine. Histamine is a major indicator of scombrotoxin poisoning. So, what is scombrotoxin fish poisoning?
What is scombrotoxin fish poisoning
Based on US FDA (Food & Drug Administration), Scombrotoxin fish poisoning is caused by eating fish that has high levels of histamine. The most common sources of illness are from the Scombridae family (tuna, mackerel, skipjack, and bonito). Other fish such as mahi mahi, bluefish, marlin, and escolar could also cause scombroid fish poisoning. For example, if you have eaten tuna that is not properly refrigerated, bacteria would begin to grow on tuna meat and histamine is formed. A Human that has scombrotoxin fish poisoning will get some reactions such as flushing of the face, heart palpitations, itching, blurred vision, headache and diarrhea.
Accordingly, the scombrotocin fish poisoning, the FDA issued a requirement for a limit of histamine in tuna that are meant to be exported to USA. Food with high histamine will get an automatic detention. So, if you are a fish exporter you must pay attention to histamine parameters in your products.
How can you reduce the risk of scombrotoxin
In conclusion, scombrotoxin fish poisoning must be considered seriously. Scombrotoxin may be harmful to the consumers. So, we must know how to reduce the risk of scombrotoxin. Below are the most effective methods to reduce the risk of scombrotoxin:
- The tuna cold storage must be monitored & controlled in order to inhibit the formation of histamine. Another important storage that must be monitored is the storage of tuna fishing boat. Should the boat’s storage temperature is kept low, the histamine level is maintained as low as possible.
- Fish meat with a bad odor, appearance or bad taste should not be consumed.
- While chewing fish meat, if there is itchiness sensation in your tongue, you should stop eating that fish meat immediately. Certain ppm level of histamine has already formed on it.
How to identify scombrotoxin fish poisoning
It is mandatory for tuna exporters to know how to identify the histamine content in tuna. The purpose is for them to know that the product does not contain excessive histamine.
Below are how to identify histamine levels:
- Bring the product samples to certified food safety laboratory
- Choose histamine parameter, or
- If you have a mini laboratory, you could purchase the histamine test kit, such as Veratox for histamine or Reveal for histamine.
What kind of test kit that can identify the histamine level?
There are kinds of test kit for identifying the histamine levels. First, you can use the Reveal Histamine. Reveal histamine (qualitative) is easy to use. You can check the histamine level with this test kit. This qualitative test kit offers fast & simple negative or positive result with limit 50 ppm. Second, you must have Veratox for histamine (quantitative) to identify the histamine levels. This test kit can help you to identify how much that histamine content in your products in numbers.
Finally, we have known about scombrotoxin fish poisoning. Scombrotoxin fish poisoning is caused by eating fish that contains high levels of histamine. You must pay attention to it. Moreover, if you are a tuna exporter, you must monitor the histamine level in your products in order to avoid the possibility of automatic detention.