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Food Safety Focus (114th Issue, January 2016) – Food Incident Highlight

Don't Eat or Serve Chinese Yu Sang (Raw Fish)

Consuming Chinese Yu Sang (raw freshwater fish) can be hazardous to health. In recent months, there were outbreaks of Group B streptococcus (GBS) infections in Singapore which were associated with raw freshwater fish consumption. GBS can cause infections in different parts of the body including the bloodstream, lungs, bones and joints.

Apart from bacteria, it is well known that raw freshwater fish including grass carp, bighead carp or snakehead may carry parasites such as Chinese liver fluke which can cause obstruction, inflammation and cancer of the biliary ducts in the liver. Chinese liver fluke contributes to the majority of local human cases of enteric parasites.

In order to protect public health, Chinese Yu Sang is a prohibited food under the Food Business Regulation (Cap 132X) in Hong Kong. Consumers are advised not to eat raw or undercooked freshwater fish while dining locally or travelling and eat freshwater fish only if it is adequately cooked, especially when having hot pot or congee. The trade should not supply Chinese Yu Sang for consumers.