Infectious Diseases Associated with Eating Sushi and Sashimi

Sushi is a traditional Japanese food and a favorite of many in the United States. Sashimi, which is thinly sliced ​​sashimi, usually served with a sauce (such as wasabi or soy sauce), is another popular delicacy.

Unlike sashimi, sushi doesn’t necessarily involve raw fish. In fact, sushi simply refers to small balls or rolls of vinegar-flavored rice. These rice rolls are then wrapped in seaweed and garnished with vegetables, eggs, raw or cooked fish or other foods.

That said, it’s important to be aware of the health risks when enjoying sashimi or sushi that contains raw fish. These may include eating bacteria or parasites that cause disease.

This article discusses the types of infectious diseases that can result from eating raw fish in sashimi or sushi. It also covers symptoms to watch out for and who is most at risk.


human infection by Anisakiasis (herring) and other nematodes or roundworms, which can be caused by eating certain raw or undercooked fish.

Ingestion of these tiny worms can cause severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting within hours of eating. What’s more, if the worms aren’t coughed up or vomited, they can burrow into your bowel wall. This can cause a local immune response or inflammation in the gut.

If this does happen, the worm will eventually die and be cleared by the immune system. However, in severe cases, your doctor may need to remove them to relieve pain. This can be done with surgery or endoscopy, hoses and cameras that the doctor can see and remove.

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Anisakiasis is an infection caused by worms that can occur if you eat raw or undercooked fish. It can cause severe abdominal pain and vomiting. They sometimes burrow into the intestines and, in severe cases, must be removed by surgery or endoscopy.

Anisakis raw fish parasite


Bacterial species Vibrio parahaemolyticus Associated with eating raw or undercooked fish and shellfish, especially oysters.

Infection can cause symptoms such as diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea), abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, headache, fever, and chills. People with weakened immune systems can get serious.

Another Vibrio, Vibrio vulnificus, has been found in oysters, clams and crabs. In healthy people, ingestion of this microorganism may cause nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever.

In people with liver disease or a weakened immune system, microbes can enter the bloodstream and cause life-threatening systemic infections.

also, This Vibrio The species can cause wound infections through exposure to open sores in water containing bacteria. Examples include opening oysters or bruising while working on a boat. As with gastrointestinal disease, these types of wound infections are most severe in people with compromised immune systems.


Vibrio germ It can cause an infection, with symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. If you have liver disease or a weakened immune system, it can lead to life-threatening infections. Vibrio Bacteria can also cause wound infections if you come into contact with bacteria in the water.


Listeriosis is an infection caused by bacteria Listeria. This bacteria is found in raw seafood, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, vegetables such as raw sprouts, and other foods.

The greatest risk of listeriosis is in the following groups of people:

  • pregnant
  • Newborn (bacteria can cross the placenta)
  • 65+
  • weak immune system

If Listeria spreads to infect the nervous system, it can cause meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes and fluid around the brain and spinal cord.

It can also lead to meningoencephalitis– Inflammation of brain tissue and membranes surrounding the brain. Nervous system infections are most common in the immunocompromised and the elderly.

If you are not pregnant, listeriosis may cause mild symptoms such as fever and diarrhea. If the infection has spread to the nervous system, it can also cause severe symptoms, such as a stiff neck and confusion. If you are pregnant, listeriosis can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, or a serious infection of the newborn.


Listeriosis is caused by bacteria in raw seafood, unpasteurized dairy products, and other foods. It can cause mild illness, but if it infects the nervous system, it can lead to meningitis. People at risk include pregnant women, babies and people with weakened immune systems.

Overview of Listeria


Salmonella infection can cause symptoms of diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually begin within one to three days of eating contaminated food. Infants, immunocompromised people, and people over 65 are most at risk of serious illness requiring hospitalization.


Bacillus cereus

Bacillus cereus is another foodborne illness associated with eating sushi. It has been linked to the consumption of contaminated rice and other foods such as fish, vegetables, meat and milk.

There are two types Bacillus cereus Infections: diarrhea type and vomiting type. Vomiting types are associated with contaminated rice products. An example might be fried rice that has been at room temperature for a long time.

contaminated food handlers

If food handlers do not maintain good hand hygiene, other infections (such as norovirus, hepatitis A and Staphylococcus aureus) can spread. Those handling food should always wash their hands properly and stay home if sick.

Those at risk of serious consequences from a foodborne infection should think more carefully about what they eat. They include pregnant women, the elderly, children or babies, people with liver disease and people with weakened immune systems.


Eating sashimi in sushi or sashimi can lead to infectious diseases. These can be caused by helminths (such as anisakiasis) or bacteria (such as salmonella or listeriosis).

Many of these infections can cause digestive symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, they can lead to more serious conditions that require hospitalization.

VigorTip words

It’s never a bad idea to ask about practices and guidelines for preparing food. If your gut thinks something is not right, follow it.

Consult your healthcare provider if you are concerned about your personal risk. Contact them if you think you may have been infected by eating sushi or sashimi.

Otherwise, if you’re in good health and know that your food comes from a reputable source, you can enjoy this nutritious Japanese treat.