Intoxicated by tuna, “Yes, the fish was contaminated”. What the analyzes say

Intoxicated by tuna, “Yes, the fish was contaminated”. What the analyzes say
Intoxicated by tuna, “Yes, the fish was contaminated”. What the analyzes say

Florence, 11 June 2021 – Tuna had been treated with enormous quantities of nitrites and nitrates, which in recent days caused episodes of intoxication in nine people who ended up in hospital after being eaten in two different Florentine restaurants.

They eat tuna: sickness and fainting, it is intoxication

These are the results of the analyzes carried out by the Experimental Zooprophylactic Institute of Lazio and Tuscany and confirmed to the functional unit of Veterinary public health and food safety of the Local Health Authority of Tuscany which in recent days had started the health investigation. The two substances, nitrites and nitrates, whose use is prohibited in fresh fish meat which was originally purchased and which caused intoxication, are used in order to obtain a rosy color and to increase the shelf life of the product.

The quantities of nitrites found in the fish in question reached 8.5 grams per kilo of meat, or about 50 times the dose allowed to treat products where the use of these additives is allowed. The toxic dose of nitrites, indicated by the World Health Organization (WHO), is 0.4 / 200 mg / kg of body weight, while the lethal dose is estimated at 33/250 mg / kg of body weight. In our case, an average portion of 200 grams of fish brought about 1.7 grams of nitrite or 24 mg / kg for a person with an estimated weight of 70 kg.

This dose is fully within the WHO toxicity range and explains the symptoms shown by the people involved in the toxic episode. The product is currently all under official lockdown by the competent authority and the UFC’s technicians and veterinarians Veterinary Public Health and Food Safety of the Ausl Centro della Toscana are working to ensure evidence and define responsibility for what happened. The judiciary will be informed of the results of these investigations for the consequent measures.

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