Passover health warning: Avoid dangerous infections from cleaning pond fish

Health ministry also warns against purchasing non-authentic olive oil.

March 31, 2015 17:12
1 minute read.

Fresh fish . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Passover health warning: Avoid dangerous infections from cleaning pond fish

Just before Passover, the Health Ministry has warned the public against cleaning their own pondfish and of purchasing non-authentic  “olive oil.” The ministry said on Tuesday that fish such as St. Peter’s fish (amnoon or musht), buri and sea bream (denis) may be infected with potentially dangerous Vibrio vulnificus bacteria that can cause harmful infections and even death in people with weak immune systems whose skin is punctured by bones, scales and fins.

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In 2013, there were 12 reported cases of Vibrio infections, and 2 last year. Most of them were before Passover, when people prepare fish for meals. Fresh fish should always be purchased from authorized sellers and must be on display in refrigerated glass display cases on cracked ice. Do not buy fish directly from fish ponds or at stands at the side of the road. Do not make direct contact with life or fresh fish or fish that is alive or cooled whole. Only fish with their scales, fins and gills are safe. Do not handle fish if you have sores or cuts on your hands and arms, the ministry said.

Meanwhile, the ministry’s Food Service said that during recent inspections, it had identified products labeled as “excellent olive oil” that in fact had been contained olive oil mixed with other, cheaper oils or no olive oil at all. Working in cooperation with the Olive Oil Council and the Chemiservice lab in Italy, it found counterfeit olive oil for which manufacturers and importers can be jailed and given large fines.

The illegal bottles were “Excellent Premium Virgin Olive Oil, 0.5% maximum acidity, produced and bottled by Sun Oil Ltd, Kidmat Galil Industrial Zone 14101, expiration date 23.10.15, 750 ml. In addition, products that were “liable to mislead the public” and with substandard amounts of olive all were: Einot Kerem Organic Olive Oil, Cold Press, acidity up to 0.4%, excellent virgin, Jewish workers, Einot Agriculture Farm, Mobile Post Arvot Hayarden 90670, expiry date 28.7.15 and Hoshen Olive Oil, First Olive Marasha Series, cold press, 1 litre, production 24.10.14, expiry date 24.10.15, Kibbutz Galon 79555.

Companies suspected by the ministry of misleading the public are now being investigated, and action will be taken against them if necessary, the ministry said.

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