Food Safety Focus (40th Issue, November 2009) – Food for Thought

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Food Safety Focus (40th Issue, November 2009) – Food for Thought

Grass Carp

Grass carp is a common food item served in congee and hotpot. To enjoy these foods safely, consumers are advised to note the following.

Significant Food Safety Concerns / Benefits Advice to the Public
Infestation of parasites – grass carp is a host for the fluke Clonorchis sinensis which can cause illnesses by infecting the bile ducts, pancreatic ducts and gallbladder in humans. It is linked with cancer of the bile duct.
  • Do not consume raw or undercooked grass carp.

  • Cook thoroughly before consumption, particularly grass carp slices in congee and hotpot.
Toxins (such as cyprinol) in the bile of grass carp gallbladder, which is also found in bile of freshwater fish belonging to the family of Cyprinidae.

Acute poisoning or even death has been reported following ingestion of as few as one gallbladder.

  • Do not consume grass carp gall bladder. The toxins cannot be destroyed by cooking.
Fish contains many essential nutrients including high quality proteins.
  • Eat a variety of fish as it is an important component of a balanced diet.