An Indio couple found a parasitic worm in their salmon over the weekend and while it may not have been appetizing, health experts say, its perfectly normal.
Imagine coming home from the grocery store and finding a parasitic worm in the fish you just purchased.
"It was a disgusting sight for sure," said the Winco customer who asked not to be identified. "Visible moving worms on the salmon that she was preparing on this very counter."
But public health experts say finding worms in fish is perfectly natural. Especially in wild caught fish. A spokesman with Riverside County Public Health said that most grocery stores take precautions for this sort of thing. The process they use to find the worms is called "Candling." Fish is place under bright lights where the worms are more easily visible.
KMIR spoke with Tim Kelly of Fisherman’s Market and Grill. He says while it’s easier to control the environment of farm raised fish, when it comes to wild caught fish, all bets are off.
"It’s common in wild fish when you get it because of the wild…they eat bugs that carry them…and it’s common in some of the fish and beef and pork everything else. Actually its a sign of a healthy environment when you see those worms in there because they do live out in the wild," said Kelly.
Health experts say the worms pose little health risks if the fish is properly cooked. An internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit will kill any parasites.
"It’s not harmful to people. You cook it, minimum one-forty-five and it kills them," said Kelly.
However, eating raw or under cooked fish with a parasitic worm can pose a health risk. A spokesman from Winco said while it is not necessarily pleasant, there is nothing abnormal or harmful about finding a worm in seafood purchased from their stores. The couple who found the worm returned the fish and received a gift card for $40 dollars.