Family says parasites were in fish bought at California Costco

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MANTECA, Calif. – Public health officials were investigating a Costco store in California’s Central Valley after customers recently reported finding a parasite in their seafood, according to a local television station.

Stefanie Rock purchased the package of cod and salmon from the Costco in Manteca two days after Christmas. She told KCRA her family discovered “at least two” parasites in one of the fish filets.

Stefanie Rock says her family discovered “at least two” parasites in one of the fish filets. (KCRA)

Stefanie Rock says her family discovered “at least two” parasites in one of the fish filets. (KCRA)

Disturbed, the family grabbed a cellphone and recorded video of the parasites, which they sent along with a letter to the San Joaquin County Department of Public Health.

“It seems like shock to conscious for Costco selling this knowing they have these parasitical worms inside of their food,” John Rock told the Sacramento-area station.

Environmental Health Specialist Lisa Medina said that Costco mostly repackages the fish, and does not do any of the main processing, according to KCRA.

But, she said, “From a quality control perspective, no, [parasites] should not be visible.”

The incident wasn’t the first time a Costco customer in the northern part of the state has alleged finding a parasite moving inside a package of fish this year, KTLA reported.

At one of the store’s Bay Area locations, a customer shot cellphone video in mid-July allegedly showing a “living parasite” in a package of salmon, according to KPIX.

A Costco employee told the station the parasite-looking creature – which are typically roundworms – weren’t unusual in packages of fish.

“It seems like shock to conscious for Costco selling this knowing they have these parasitical worms inside of their food,” John Rock told a local TV station. (KCRA)

“It seems like shock to conscious for Costco selling this knowing they have these parasitical worms inside of their food,” John Rock told a local TV station.
(KCRA)

A local caterer with four decades of experience agreed.

“All the fish have a little worm in them for sure, most of them, but you have to cook the fish, and then it’s OK,” Kenny Kim told KPIX.

Health officials advise consumers to cook their fish until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for 15 seconds.

According to the FDA, “The process of heating raw fish sufficiently to kill bacterial pathogens is also sufficient to kill parasites.”

That, however, does not sit well with the Rock family.

“Those worms are natural? That’s not acceptable,” John Rock told KCRA. “I don’t want to cook a parasitical worm thoroughly for my dinner.”

4 comments

  • M Simons

    Worms are pretty common in a number of fish, how do you expect any supplier to remove them ? Care to take a guess at the cost then ?
    If you are pals with a sushi chef, ask them.

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  • Methadone300

    Wow,a parasite was found in a wild fish………Google parasites found in the human body and you should take that up for advisement.how is Costco responsible for this.once the fish dies the parasite needs a new host ,it’s called nature.eat flesh and you are bound to find this.the lengths to ensure that never again will a parasite be found in a fish from the Wilson would force them to g.n.o the fish and I’m sure that the consumer]consumers at Costco would hate buying genetically modified fish breed to keep away parasites.try putting pork in Coke and see how many of these come out of pork that has been ok’ed by the usda.

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