FDA cautions public against consumption of dead fish washed ashore

FDA cautions public against consumption of dead fish washed ashore

The Food and Drugs Author­ity (FDA) has warned the public against the consumption of dead fish washed ashore.

According to the FDA, the consumption of dead seafood washed ashore must be ap­proached with caution as the cause of death of the fish may adversely affect the health of the consumer.

The Director of Communica­tions of FDA, Mrs Rhoda Appiah gave the advice in a statement issued in Accra yesterday.

“There are many factors that contribute to dead fish on the shores; pollution of waters, natural predators, and increasing warm levels of the water that cause suffocation of the fish and lead to their death,” she added.

The advice followed a video which had gone viral showing the carcass of a whale washed ashore in Tema in the Greater Accra where consumers slicing portions to be used for cooking.

“When fish dies through chemical poisoning, the chemical in question can be passed on to the consumer or converted into a more toxic chemical during preparation either cooking, smok­ing, frying, of the meal which then causes food poisoning in the consumer,” she said.

She noted that if the death of fishes was caused by zoonotic pathogens either a germ that was able to cause disease in both ani­mals and human beings, consum­ers of that fish were likely to face the same fate as the fish.

The Communications Direc­tor stated that zoonotic diseases were illnesses that could be transferred from animals to hu­mans, adding that most zoonotic diseases in fish were caused by bacterial infections and could be transmitted to humans through direct contact with both live and dead fish.

Mrs Appiah said the effects of zoonotic disease ranged from mild to severe which might some­times result in death.

“Dead fish deteriorates very rapidly when exposed to heat and ambient weather conditions. De­teriorating fish has been known to cause severe cases of food poisoning,” she added.

She said although whale meat had been proven to be edible, recent studies had shown that whales carry a lot of mercury in their bodies due to their feeding on large amounts of smaller fish.

“The highest allowable aver­age concentration for mercury in humans is 0.46 microgram /gram per week whereas the mercury levels in the liver of whales are 370 micrograms /grams, which is an indication of the concen­tration of mercury in the body of the whale thus, the safety of whale meat for consumption by humans cannot be guaranteed,’’ she added.

She said mercury poison­ing caused tremors, headaches, difficulty sleeping, impaired sensations, kidney damage, and breathing difficulties.


Joyceline Natally Cudjoe

An Entertainment Columnist, Content Writer, Blogger, Novelist, Poet, and a Publicist. For business or story tip off, contact me on +233 24 646 6866 or email: [email protected]

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