A Maryland woman's Facebook post is going viral this week after she shared a video of what appears to be a live worm wriggling around in the corner of a package of fish she said she purchased at Costco.
According to Fox 5 DC, Emily Randolph of Frederick, Maryland, said she bought a two-pound package of wild-caught Atlantic cod at Costco on February 9.
Randolph said she bought the fish on February 9, and the package had a "sell by" date of February 12. But she said that before she opened the package, she noticed the worm inside, and it was still alive.
Randolph said she took the video back to Costco, and the store gave her a refund. But she was disturbed that the clerk at the store did not seem to think the worm was a bigger deal.
"When we took the video to Costco to get our money back the girl behind the counter said someone had just returned salmon with worms in it," Randolph said. "No apologies at all. She acted as if this happens all the time. I'm so grossed out. Check your food people!!!!"
Worms are found in fish pretty regularly, because fish pick up parasites as they swim around, and those parasites come along when the fish is caught and processed. Worms are typically removed before fish get into people's shopping carts, but sometimes they get through.
The FDA says that while parasites eaten in raw or undercooked seafood can cause health problems, "the process of heating raw fish sufficiently to kill bacterial pathogens is also sufficient to kill parasites." The FDA says most seafood should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
The worms might not be harmful to humans if the seafood is fully cooked, but Randolph's video certainly turned some stomachs. The video has been viewed more than 345,000 times and shared nearly 6,000 times, and people's reactions have been mixed.
"Gag me, yuck!" one commenter said.
"Come on, that's just extra protein," another said.
We reached out to Costco for a comment but did not receive a response before presstime.
Some people shrugged off the video and figured a few worms were harmless in cooked fish. Others seemed pretty disturbed and might be avoiding fish for a little while. Here are 11 other reasons to avoid supermarket seafood.
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