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Medical warning to be aware of when eating sushi as woman tragically died eating it in restaurant

Medical warning to be aware of when eating sushi as woman tragically died eating it in restaurant

There is a risk which comes with eating sushi

There’s a medical warning to be aware of when it comes to eating sushi after a woman tragically died from eating it in a restaurant.

Donna Ventura, 64, had gone for a lunch date with her husband Jon and some friends at Dave’s Sushi in Montana in April last year when she was left fighting for her life.

She went into complete kidney and liver failure after ordering the ‘special roll’ from the menu, and spent 13 days in hospital, unable to breathe without a ventilator, before she sadly died.

Her grieving husband told KBZK how the toxins from the uncooked morel mushrooms destroyed her kidneys and liver and damaged her esophagus and trachea.

Donna sadly died as a result of what she'd eaten. (KBZK)
Donna sadly died as a result of what she'd eaten. (KBZK)

Donna was one of 51 diners who became seriously ill after eating the special roll (one other also died), containing salmon and a morel mushroom topping.

Those are one of the most popular edible mushrooms and are totally fine to consume when cooked but those fatal portions were not.

Investigators found those who fell victim had all eaten uncooked mushrooms whereas others who ate cooked ones were fine – that’s because they’re poisonous.

And while the mushrooms were the responsible factor in this case, doctors have previously warned of the dangers of ingesting parasites from sushi.

Experts in Portugal wrote in British Medical Journal Case Reports about treating a 32-year-old bloke who was found to have larvae from a parasite attached to his gut lining after spending a week suffering from stomach pain, vomiting and a fever.

Sushi is usually made with 'raw' fish. (Getty Stock Photo)
Sushi is usually made with 'raw' fish. (Getty Stock Photo)

And when he said he’d recently ate sushi, doctors began to suspect he could have anisakiasis – that’s because sushi is of course, typically raw fish.

This is a parasitic disease caused by worms that if not coughed up or vomited out, can burrow into the walls of the intestines.

Anisakiasis occurs when infected larvae are ingested from undercooked or raw fish or squid. Usually, after some painful stomach ache, nausea and vomiting, the worms eventually die and are removed by the immune system.

However, in some more severe cases, doctors may need to remove them to reduce pain, typically done by surgery or endoscopy.

In the case of the man, doctors performed an endoscopy and found the larvae of a worm-like parasite firmly attached on an area of swollen and inflamed gut lining. After removing it, the ‘patient’s symptoms resolved immediately’.

To kill anisakiasis, it is recommended to freeze the fish at -20C or below for 24 hours. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say: “Anyone who eats undercooked or raw fish or squid is at risk.”

The fish needs to be prepared properly. (Getty Stock Photo)
The fish needs to be prepared properly. (Getty Stock Photo)

The investigation into the Dave’s Sushi cases

Officials reckon those who ate the second batch of mushrooms, which were not cooked, were nine times more likely to become sick than the people who consumed them on 8 April.

Speaking to MTN News, Dave's Sushi said it has been 'fully transparent' throughout the investigation and have since 'implemented Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) extensively in our kitchen'.

The restaurant said: "Our entire kitchen management team is ServSafe Manager certified. We have also implemented extensive food and environmental safety measures, testing, and monitoring. We hope that other retailers and restaurants that plan on continuing to distribute and prepare morel mushrooms educate their clients and consumers that these mushrooms are not fully understood.

"We understand from the case control study performed that the morel mushrooms served at Dave’s being undercooked contributed to a greater likelihood of people becoming ill from their consumption.

"There are numerous reports of people becoming ill, in some cases fatally, from eating cooked morel mushrooms. We are grateful that The CDC and FDA have both released their first and only publicized guidelines on morel mushrooms.

"We hope that this information is distributed with morel mushrooms in hopes that a tragedy such as this is prevented from happening again. We feel awful about this outbreak, especially for the individuals and families affected from consuming the morel mushrooms at Dave’s Sushi."

LADbible have contacted Dave's Sushi for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Stock Image/KBZK

Topics: Health, Food And Drink