Man Contracts Gastrointestinal Parasite from Unsanitary Restaurant

Joseph O'Neill

Written by
— Updated on October 13, 2017

Gastroeneterology Expert WitnessThis case involves a man who contracted a rare gastrointestinal parasite after dining at a sushi restaurant. The man had been assured by the waiter at his table that all of the fish was safe to consume raw, and that it had been frozen before being served in order to eliminate any dangerous parasites. Nevertheless, the man began to experience severe gastrointestinal distress shortly after he finished his meal, with symptoms including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Eventually, the man became so ill that he went to the emergency room, where he was diagnosed with a parasitic infection after and endoscopy was performed. The parasite has caused a great deal of intestinal damage, and required surgical intervention to remove.

Question(s) For Expert Witness

  • 1. Are you familiar with the infection in question?
  • 2. Are you able to discuss the potential effects that this parasite can cause?

Expert Witness Response E-000984

I am very familiar with this specific infection. It is a very rare infestation in the US compared to Japan and Far East – 1000 cases are reported annually in Japan, less than 10 cases are diagnosed in the United States. Gastric infestation can become symptomatic within 6 hr after indigestion whereas, in patients with small intestinal pathology, it may take 48 hrs or longer before becoming symptomatic. Patients with this infection can become acutely ill after ingesting raw fish that has not been properly handled. The Food and Drug Administration recommends that all fish and shellfish intended for raw or semi raw consumption be blast frozen to 31°F or below for 15 hours, or be regularly frozen to 4°F or below for 7 days.


Expert Bio

This double board certified expert has been practicing for over 20 years. He completed his Infectious Disease fellowship at Cornell University as well as a research fellowship at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Awarded the honor of Fellow of both the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American College of Physicians, he holds membership in a multitude of other prestigious medical organizations and serves as a reviewer for over 40 medical journals. He is also extensively published with over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and abstracts. Currently, this expert is an Associate Professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases at a major medical university, where he is also the Director of Transplant Infectious Diseases. His specific infectious disease experience includes tuberculosis, hepatitis, lyme disease, fungal infections, diseases of travel, infections in transplant recipients, bone and joint infections, and infections associated with targeted immunotherapy.

Contact this expert witness

Find a Food and Beverage Expert Witness Near You

What State is your case in?

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE DC FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY