Millions of people try new food every day, different areas of the world have so many new flavors and dishes that you would never even think of.
One thing many people haven’t tried yet is sushi – I tried it for the first time just a few years ago.
Although it’s been around for decades since the 1960s, it’s only the last 15 or 20 years that it has become really popular in the United States.
However, for one 71-year-old South Korean man, this dish nearly cost him his life.
Sadly, he developed an infection after his dinner, resulting in complications required an amputation of his forearm, according to a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
You’ve likely been told since you were a kid that eating raw meat can be dangerous? There is a reason for that.
Sometimes, raw meat can contain bacteria that can result in severe food born illness.
Sushi for example, is made up several ingredients. But the fish part of sushi is often never cooked, so if you eat it, you’re eating raw meat.
Raw fish, such as sushi, may be delicious, but they also dangerous – even life-threatening – if prepared inexpertly.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened to this South Korean man. After an evening of eating sushi, he began forming blisters and bruises on his hand and arm.
Just 12 hours after eating the contaminated sushi, his left hand had swollen so much it began to leak – leading to excruciating pain.
The man had a history of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, and he was undergoing dialysis for end-stage renal (kidney) disease, according to CNN.
He rushed to the hospital knowing that something was horribly wrong. A blood-filled cavity measuring 3.5 by 4.5 centimeters (about 1.5 by 2 inches) had developed on the palm of his left hand, while on the top of his hand and forearm, there was a swelling cavity under the skin.
As soon as he told the doctor he’d eaten sushi, they knew immediately that the man was suffering from a flesh-eating bacteria infection.
They performed urgent surgery and isolated Vibrio vulnificus, a bacterium commonly found in coastal ocean water. That bacteria was the cause of his infection.
Doctors drain the blisters and carefully pulled away as much of the infected tissue as possible, but despite their efforts, the man ended up losing his hand. Doctors performed an amputation of his left forearm 25 days after his arrival at the ER.
“The patient did well after the surgery and was discharged home,” the authors of his case report concluded.
Vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the U.S. each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.
Some cases require amputations, and 15% to 30% of cases are fatal, according to the agency.
With sushi popularity still on the rise, I think it’s important to hear stories like this to ensure that what you’re eating is safe.
Be sure to share this story with your family and friends so they can be reminded to take precaution as well.