Illnesses associated with seafood are an important public health concern worldwide, particularly considering the steady increase in seafood consumption. However, research about the risks associated with seafood products is scarce in developing countries. Histamine fish poisoning is
the most common form of fish intoxication caused by seafood and usually presents as an allergic reaction. This condition occurs when fish are not kept appropriately refrigerated and histamine is formed in the tissues. Histamine levels of >500 ppm usually are associated with clinical illness.
We assessed histamine levels in fish from markets in Lima, Peru, with a quantitative competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Thirty-eight specimens were purchased from wholesale and retail markets: 17 bonito (Sarda sarda), 16 mackerel (Scomber japonicus peruanus), and
5 mahi-mahi (Coryphaena hippurus). Seven fish (18%) had histamine levels of 1 to 10 ppm (three mackerel and four bonito) and three (8%) had >10 ppm (three mackerel, 35 to 86 ppm). Fish from retail markets had detectable histamine levels (>1 ppm) more frequently than did fish bought
at wholesale fish markets: 9 (36%) of 25 fish versus 1 (8%) of 13 fish, respectively (P = 0.063). Higher histamine levels were correlated with later time of purchase during the day (Spearman's rho = 0.37, P = 0.024). Mackerel purchased at retail markets after 2 p.m. had a 75%
prevalence of histamine levels of >10 ppm. Mackerel purchased late in the day in retail markets frequently contained high histamine levels, although the overall prevalence of elevated histamine levels was low. Despite the small sample, our findings highlight the need to reinforce seafood
safety regulations and quality control in developing countries such as Peru.
Document Type: Research Article
U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Lima, Perú 2:
U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment, Lima, Perú; Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Lima, Perú
Publication date: May 1, 2009
More about this publication?
IAFP members must first sign in on the right to access full text articles of JFP First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.
Print and online subscriptions are available to Members and Institutional subscribers. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Information can be obtained by calling +1 800.369.6337; +1 515.276.3344; fax: +1 515.276.8655, E-mail: email@example.com or Web site: www.foodprotection.org