Special Report: Something fishy
With Dice-K on the mound for the Red Sox, it seems all of Boston is turning Japanese.
But before you swallow that sushi, hold on. You could be getting a raw deal on your raw fish!
7NEWS bought sushi from restaurants and supermarkets in and around Boston.
We kept our five samples "on ice" and brought them to the lab for a "fresh" test, looking for bacteria.
We got two of our samples at major supermarket chains, and their tests went swimmingly. They had very low bacteria counts -- a sign that they were very fresh.
But there was something stinky with the other three sushi samples. They were packed with what could be potentially dangerous bacteria.
"These three are not anywhere as close to fresh as the other two," said Dr. Khalil Zadeh, Lapuck Laboratories Inc.
Their levels of overall bacteria were well above what is considered fresh.
The bacteria count came in at 11,000 for one piece of sushi, 40,000 for another and a frightening 160,000 for another piece.
When tested for particular bacteria that causes fish to decompose, two of our samples sank! They had counts greater than 57,000, which was a strong indicator that these fish would soon spoil!
They potential dangers of eating raw fish are great, since it can be loaded with parasites, E. coli and other bacteria.
So experts recommend, before you open your mouth to take a bite, open your eyes:
1) Observe the color of the fish: the fish should not have uneven coloring or many dark patches.
2) Notice the texture: the fish should be soft and melt in your mouth. Exceptions are octopus and squid, which are chewy.
3) Check for any unpleasant odors: sushi should not have a strong, "fishy" smell.
4) Look for the phrase "sushi-grade" or "sashimi-grade," which ensures the food was commercially frozen.
And here is another tip: many restaurants receive their fish shipments on Tuesday mornings. So, it may be better to order sushi or any fish for that matter on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.
So whether you dine out or stop by the supermarket, take care with you sushi selection, so you don't get stuck with "Something Fishy!"
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