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Eating canned spoiled tuna: the consequences are frightening



Canned tuna is one of the foods that can never be missing from the pantry of Italian citizens. It is an extremely versatile food and, above all, quick to prepare. But, if not properly processed and stored, it has the ability to cause serious damage to our health. In fact, in the event that shortly after consuming canned tuna we were to experience illness or symptoms such as itching, headache, shortness of breath, tachycardia, diffuse erythema of the neck and face, the causes could be very few.

It is most likely the scombroid syndrome. It is a particular food poisoning triggered by the intake of histamine. Histamine is a substance that is very often found in tuna and which derives from the breakdown of histidine, an amino acid naturally present in many fish products such as: sardines, anchovies, mackerel and, of course, also in tuna. Scombroid syndrome is a very subtle syndrome, as the symptoms suggest that it is a simple allergic reaction when it is more of a real food poisoning.

It is important to specify how histamine is already present in our body in a completely natural way: it is of fundamental importance in the regulation of our immune system, but if it is already present in our body, because it causes food poisoning, that’s Why. The problem arises when, in addition to the amount of histamine already present in our body, we add it through, for example, canned tuna that has gone bad. It is the accumulation of this substance that becomes toxic and therefore causes food poisoning, not the histamine itself. Symptoms of scombroid syndrome occur within an hour and are: headache, red eyes, burning mouth, general redness on the skin, itching and nausea.

In case the patient already presents with a compressed clinical picture, he might face more serious symptoms such as breathing difficulties and myocardial ischemia. What are the precautions to follow? The fundamental thing for a good preservation of fish is not to interrupt the cold chain. As for the care to be carried out at home, experts advise you to use thermal bags in case we have to transport fresh fish and avoid refreezing already defrosted products. As for canned tuna, the ideal would be to consume the can immediately once opened but, if this is not possible, to preserve the properties of the tuna as it is, it must be kept in the refrigerator with the addition of oil and consume it within the next day.

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