What is anisakis?
Anisakis is a parasite that can be found in all types of fish and cephalopods, which causes digestive disorders known as “anisakiasis” in the human body and sometimes allergic reactions that can be severe. The symptoms associated with anisakis are usually abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Symptoms usually do not go beyond that.
The only way to contract it is to consume fish or parasitized cephalopods that have not undergone the necessary removal processes.
At Conservas Ortiz, we strictly adhere to food safety regulations, and our products undergo rigorous quality controls.
Where does anisakis come from?
In general, anisakis is a parasite that settles in the intestinal cavities of fish; that is why during our processes, we dedicate special attention to correct gutting before processing.
Anisakis eggs hatch in the sea, and their larvae are eaten by the crustaceans they parasitize. When these are eaten by larger fish or cephalopods, they also start infecting the latter. This cycle is repeated until the larvae grow inside their host. When they are adults, they mate and spawn inside the fish, which, by excreting the eggs, spreads them into the sea, starting this cycle once again.
Can canned food contain anisakis?
Canned and semi-canned fish products are anisakis-free since they are subjected to heat treatment and freezing techniques that completely eliminate the parasite.
The canning industry sets out a series of very specific obligations in this regard, and at Conservas Ortiz, we strictly follow the current regulations.
In addition to the analyses performed when the fish is delivered, there are a series of standardized controls during the process and constant quality inspections on the final product. In addition to these controls, we have implemented a series of best practices in the production process that are observed and recorded daily. The method applied is different depending on the type of product.
The boquerones, for example, are subjected to a freezing process prior to freezing at -20ºC for the time necessary to eliminate anisakis.
The products of white tuna, other blue fish and shellfish are put through a sterilization process that reaches 120º, which guarantees the total elimination of the parasite.
Salted anchovies undergo a maturation process to reach a salinity sufficient to eliminate the parasite completely.
How to eliminate anisakis in fresh fish?
Several guidelines ensure that the fish we eat is free of anisakis.
- Buy the fish clean and without entrails or clean it well and remove them as soon as possible at home.
- Cook it for at least 2 minutes at more than 60º so that the temperature reaches the center of the piece. Boiling, frying or grilling the fish are sure ways to kill the parasite.
- If we want to eat the fish raw, freeze it first for at least 5 days at -20º. If your refrigerator does not reach the indicated temperature, it is better to buy a product already frozen by the manufacturer