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wormy fish: what's the deal?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i am sure i've seen posts on this topic before - worms in fish. a friend just found some in some store bought wild salmon and wanted to know more. figured i'd see what the smartypants in this forum had to offer. here's what she had to say...

"I had the nightmarish experience yesterday of cooking up some nice Alaskan wild sockeye salmon, only to flip it over after it was done and discover little white worms dancing out of it. Eeeeewwww!* Needless to say, we bagged it and brought it back to the grocery store where they refunded our money and showed it to the fish guy. They promptly pulled all the sockeye salmon.


Any idea what kind of worms these were? They were about 3/4 of an inch long, white, and about as thin as a hair. I had cooked the fish until it was about 125 degrees F, according to the recipe I was following."
post #2 of 11
I think they're usually parasites the fish ingested. They bore from the stomache into flesh and take a nap. Cooking or low temp freezing will destroy them. Good reason not to eat fresh salmon sashimi.
post #3 of 11
Have heard them called "cod worms"
post #4 of 11
That's but one of several varieties... around here, and I'm sure all along the coast, the most common is right beneath the skin, and will grow in a circular pattern. Very common in Stripers, Croakers, Perch, and have even found them in Flounder. I'm sure they are in others that I never eat as well. They say no worries cooked, but I have a problem with it, so I have been filleting and skinning my fish to check, even though some fish like Specks I prefer whole. For people who like freshwater, Ring Perch, White Perch, and Crappie seem to get them real bad at some locations. Alive after cooked like yours, I'm gagging here
post #5 of 11
The fish you usually buy at the fish counter at your supermarket are already treated for the worms so you don't see them......I said usually because I bought some swordfish a few years ago at the local them home and was ready to marinade them. Unwrapped the fillets and saw all those little lovelies crawling all over the place. Called up the the explanation that they may have missed treating those fillets....I returned the fillets....and have not eaten a piece of swordfish ever since.

Many fish have these naturally in their flesh......I say let the fish keep em...I ain't eatin that stuff.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
thanks fellers. i'll pass the info along. there is actually some interesting stuff out there if you google "cod worms."

all this reminds of a recent incident i had one morning while enjoying a bowl of raisin bran. got nearly to the bottom of it when i realized that some of the smaller brown things floating in the milk were trying to swim. turns out there is some kind of bug, some type of weavil i believe, that is very tiny and sometimes comes in flour. a bunch of these guys had set up shop in my box of cereal and it took my a while to notice. i wonder how many of them i ate.
post #7 of 11
Halibut also have them. no big deal, surf and turf.
post #8 of 11
This is from the USDA Standards for Grain. I would guess there are allowances for just about any kind of thing that would regularly make an appearance somewhere in production.
post #9 of 11
Cod fishing in maine many moons ago mate told us if you find worms in the fillets just pick them out before you cook them. They looked like tiny white sausage rings,I had no problem with this but if my wife would have seen this I dont think she would ever eat fish again,you can be sure I did the cooking that night.
post #10 of 11
Yup, just brolied some haddock that was caught in NH in May. Not a lot of worms, maybe one per filet, but if the bride saw one she would have eaten a lot of salad tonight.

They were well past dead after being frozen for a month, but they were obviously not fish and did not belong.

No big deal: pick 'em out, don't tell anyone...

If I had cooked it and saw something alive after, especially after mawing some down, I think I woulda 'd.
post #11 of 11
It's all protein.
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