Share
Explore BrainMass

Scombroid Poisoning

What is scombroid poisoning? How does it occur? What conditions would allow the toxin involved to thrive and to cause illness.

Scombroid poisoning is just another name for "histamine fish poisoning." (1) It is a "fish food poisoning" that is associated with allergy-like symptoms. (1) Scombroid poisoning is cause by a high level of histamine found in fishes. (1,2) The common fishes that have histamine in them, which can cause scombroid poisoning are usually tuna, albacore, mackerel, amberjack, bluefish, and marlin. (2, 3) Scombroid poisoning happens when a person eat fishes that is contaminated with high level of histamine. The onset of the symptoms for scombroid poisoning typically occur within hours of eating the histamine-rich fishes. People that have scombroid poisoning developed symptoms, including sweating, facial flushing, vomiting, nausea, headache, dizziness, and rash. (2) Others symptoms are "tingling and burning around the mouth". (2)

The conditions that would allow the toxin histamine to cause illness is that when fishes are not properly stored in appropriate refrigerated conditions. The improper storage of the fishes causes the scombroid toxin development. If the fishes are not properly refrigerated, the bacteria on the fishes can "metabolize naturally occuring histamine to produce the scombroid toxin, which contain histamine and other amines." (2) A moderate temperature at 37 degree or room temperature can cause bacteria to metabolize the histamine into scombroid toxin, so fish must be refrigerated at freezing temperature. (2) The fishes that have high level of histamine are probably spoiled and have bad odors. This is an indication that the fishes contain the scombroid poisoning. However, some contaminated fishes do not produce bad odors at all. When the fishes are contaminated with high histamine level, they cannot be neutralized by cooking because the histamine is heat resistant. Cooking the contaminated histamine-rich fishes may not eliminate the scombroid toxins. The best prevention for scombroid poisoning is to refrigerate the fishes properly at freezing temperature from "the time of capture to the time of cooking the fishes."(2) In addition, fishes that have a bad odor should not be eating. (2) Scombroid poisoning is not serious enough to require treatments. However, if the condition is serious enough, it can be treated with antihistamine medications. (2)

References:
1. Hungerford JM. Scombroid poisoning: a review. Toxcon. 2010 Aug. 15:56(2)
2. http://www.cdph.ca.gov/healthinfo/discond/Documents/Scombroid.pdf
3. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/818338-overview

Solution Preview

Scombroid poisoning is just another name for "histamine fish poisoning." (1) It is a "fish food poisoning" that is associated with allergy-like symptoms. (1) Scombroid poisoning is cause by a high level of histamine found in fishes. (1,2) The common fishes that have histamine in them, which can cause scombroid poisoning are usually tuna, albacore, mackerel, amberjack, bluefish, and marlin. (2, 3) Scombroid poisoning happens when a person eat fishes that is contaminated with high level of histamine. The onset of the symptoms for scombroid poisoning typically occur within hours of eating the histamine-rich fishes. ...

Solution Summary

Scombroid poisoning is the same term as "histamine fish poisoning." (1) It is a "fish food poisoning" that is associated with allergy-like symptoms. (1) Scombroid poisoning is cause by a high level of histamine found in fishes. (1,2) The common fishes that have histamine in them, which can cause scombroid poisoning are usually tuna, albacore, mackerel, amberjack, bluefish, and marlin. (2, 3) Scombroid poisoning happens when a person eat fishes that is contaminated with high level of histamine. The onset of the symptoms for scombroid poisoning typically occur within hours of eating the histamine-rich fishes. People that have scombroid poisoning developed symptoms, including sweating, facial flushing, vomiting, nausea, headache, dizziness, and rash. (2) Others symptoms are "tingling and burning around the mouth". (2)

$2.19