Sweden reports histamine contaminated fish from Vietnam

Sweden has reported a histamine outbreak affecting 19 people at the beginning of April, Food Safety News writes.

Guests at three different restaurants all fell ill and reported symptoms of histamine poisoning after eating tuna imported from Vietnam. All three restaurants had purchased the same frozen tuna loins with the same expiry date from the same supplier, indicating that high levels of histamine occurred before the tuna was brought into Sweden from Vietnam via the Netherlands.

Histamine is produced when bacteria that naturally occur in the fish break down histidine, an amino acid found in the muscles of certain fish species, and the production of histamine is directly related to the mishandling of food as a result of storage at incorrect temperatures.

Most often, the average incubation period following ingestion of the toxin is one and the most common symptoms of histamine poisoning, also known as scombroid fish poisoning include tingling or burning sensation in the mouth, facial swelling, rash, hives and itchy skin, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

It is not the first time Sweden experiences outbreaks of histamine poisoning from Tuna imported from Vietnam and in 2020 the country recorded three outbreaks in three months. Those outbreaks in total affected 60 people but were not directly related because the tuna came from different batches and the patents came from different areas of Sweden.

Meanwhile, new legislation has been implemented in Sweden which gives food control authorities better options of checking the food and the Swedish government has commissioned the Swedish Board of Agriculture and Swedish Veterinary Institute to do a feasibility study on measures to effectively prevent and manage the presence of Salmonella in farm animals.

Mette Larsen

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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