Felicia Cipolla and her partner were about to cut up the wild-caught sockeye salmon they purchased at a Costco in the Bay Area when she noticed something moving inside the meat.
Upon looking closer, Cipolla noticed a tiny worm also known as a nematode moving in and out of the salmon meat and captured video of it.
“As we were putting away the food, we noticed the little thing wiggling around,” Cipolla told The Mercury News. “We saw it before we even opened the package.”
They paid $19.88 for the salmon at the Costco store in Richmond, California, and it was packed on the same day it was purchased on Monday. She told The Mercury News they would return the salmon Wednesday.
“We buy fish occasionally from Costco, but this is the first time a worm [was] in it,” Cipolla told KRON4. “And it isn’t your typical worm, parasite. The scary thing about it, it looks similar to bones, and if you are not paying attention, you would just eat it and that is gross.”
Cipolla double bagged the package of salmon and put it in a refrigerator in a spare room.
KRON4 sought comment from the Costco store and in response received a fact sheet about “Parasites in Marine Fishes” written by two UC Davis seafood specialists.
“All living organisms, including fish, can have parasites,” it read. “Parasites are a natural occurrence, not contamination. They are as common in fish as insects are in fruits and vegetables. Parasites do not present a health concern in thoroughly cooked fish.”
In other words, cooking the fish would kill the tiny worm and make the salmon safely edible.
“I don’t want to eat it, I want to take it back,” Cipolla told KRON4. “We bought some other seafood. We are taking it all back.”
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.