The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. has lately seen an increase in ciguatera fish poisoning cases due to the consumption of various shallow- to deep-water bottom fish and has warned the public to avoid eating fish larger than about 4-6 lbs.
Ciguatera fish poisoning, or CFP, is a common food-borne illness related to the consumption of certain species of fish that have been contaminated with plankton (algae) derived toxin associated with coral reefs. The ciguatera toxin is non-detectable as it does not harm the fish and is unrecognizable when consumed. Unlike other food-borne illnesses, CFP is not transferred from cross-contamination due to inadequate food handler hygiene, food preparation, cooking, handling, and storage. In addition, the ciguatera toxin can withstand cooking and freezing temperatures and is not preventable if the fish species already harbors the toxin.