Scombroid Fish Poisoning – Sweden

Thirty people in Sweden fell ill, earlier in May 2020, with scombroid food poisoning after eating tuna from Vietnam. The food-borne outbreak was linked to frozen tuna loins from Vietnam, that were imported via the Netherlands.

Distribution of the frozen tuna loins also included Austria, Cyprus, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia.

The onset of scombroid or histamine food poisoning symptoms can range from minutes to several hours. Typically, the average incubation period before illness is one hour.

The most common symptoms of scombroid or histamine fish poisoning are tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. They usually resolve within several hours without medical intervention. If symptoms are severe, an individual should seek medical attention for treatment and can be treated with antihistamines.

Production of histamine is related to mishandling of food due to storage at incorrect temperatures.

Photo: Chef slicing fresh tuna.

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