Dept. of Health advises the public to understand risk when you're at the poke counter
Peter Oshiro of the Department of Health calls eating raw seafood and meat a risk, one that should not be calculated lightly.
"People have to realize that their cultural actions and how they eat at times does put them at risk," Oshiro said.
Nematodes in raw salmon, like the one shown here, are not uncommon according to Oshiro, and when cooked properly, they're not harmful.
"Cooking is the one thing that will inactivate any parasite whether its worm nematodes or viruses or bacteria and if you cook it properly that will render it safe to eat," Oshiro said.
According to the FDA, cooking your seafood to 145 degrees internal temperature will do the job. However, for poke fans, Oshiro says stay away from imported fish.
"The safest fish is fresh island fish that has been caught. Things that have been frozen and imported from overseas are a lot riskier to eat. We have not had any outbreaks in the last 10-15 years that were linked to locally caught raw products," Oshiro said.
So when you're at the poke counter, the Department of Health stresses that you understand your risk, and ask for what's local and fresh.
"That's the main thing, ask them where it's from whether its been pre-frozen, whether its fresh or not, or locally caught," Oshiro said.