August 1, 2018

"If I were a plumber, would they have attacked me as ‘a callous plumber?’"

Said the lawyer, Jim Guinee, who made video of a worm crawling out of a half-eaten piece of cod and posted it on Facebook, with the name of the restaurant tagged, quoted in "Restaurant berates ‘irresponsible reaction’ of man who shared video of a worm in his food" (WaPo).
In a Facebook post about the incident, the restaurant said it takes “every precaution while preparing and cooking meals for the public.... With that being said, one of our seafood purveyors did send us Saturdays cod and missed the small worms that were found by two of our guests, located in the center of their piece of fish.... We immediately halted serving this dish. We also compensated the family of 8 generously and expressed our sincere concern and apologies that one our guests had anything less than an amazing experience at our restaurant.”

Then the restaurant called out Guinee, an attorney, saying it was “very surprised at the callousness and irresponsible reaction of an attorney of law to attempt to destroy our reputation & possible livelihoods due to something that could have happened to anyone, whether cooking at home or in a restaurant.”
Here's the video:



Guinee narrates in real time and has the comic calmness to deliver the line, "So not only did we sit through almost our entire dinner without drinks, but now, dinner has come to life."

WaPo quotes the director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at the Mayo Clinic, who says it's "'almost certainly' an anisakid — a parasitic roundworm":
“It looks like they are eating cod, which would have been the source of the worm,” [Bobbi] Pritt wrote in an email to The Post after reviewing the footage. “Anisakids are commonly called ‘cod worms’ because they are frequently found in cod,” though Pritt added that the worms can also be found in salmon, mackerel and other fish. “They are, unfortunately, a fact of life.”

That’s why, Pritt said, that “it is essential that fish be prepared properly to kill any worms that are present.”
And the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says:
“No matter how carefully fish is inspected by processors, caterers and retailers, some worms will occasionally be discovered in fish by the consumer,” the organization said. It added: “It should therefore be emphasized that the presence of worms in fish offered for sale does not imply carelessness or bad practice on the part of the processor or retailer.”
This is why you're supposed to cook fish to at least 145° (but I bet  you don't) and why the sushi in restaurants isn't raw. It's got to be frozen and defrosted, which kind of ruins the whole charm of it. That and the fact that the worms are still in the fish. They're just dead.
The CDC states that when people ingest larvae from raw or undercooked infected fish, the parasite can travel to the person’s gut. The CDC added that “some people experience a tingling sensation after or while eating raw or undercooked fish or squid. This is actually the worm moving in the mouth or throat.

57 comments:

J. E. Malthaus said...

Marginally better than the bore worms.

Bay Area Guy said...

Hmm. This is a tough one. On the one hand, nobody wants worms in their dining experience. On the other hand, nobody should want to destroy a restaurant's reputation (and possibly the restaurant itself) over an isolated incident.

It is a conundrum surrounded by mystery, encased in a moral dillema. Smug lawyers probably don't help the situation.

mezzrow said...

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I think I'll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones
Eensie weensy squeensy ones
See how they wiggle and squirm!

Down goes the first one, down goes the second one
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!
Up comes the first one, up comes the second one
Oh how they wiggle and squirm!

I bite off the heads, and suck out the juice
And throw the skins away!
Nobody knows how fat I grow
On worms three times a day!

Nobody likes me, everybody hates me
I think I'll go eat worms!
Big fat juicy ones
Eensie weensy squeensy ones
See how they wiggle and squirm!

Mark said...

How could a lawyer destroy a restaurant's reputation merely by reporting a moving parasitic worm in his food?

If the lawyer should have known that these things happen so as to make his reporting the incident irresponsible, then certainly the general public already knows that they are going to get live, moving worms in their fish when they go there.

Wince said...

My experience: if you want table service, act like you’re in intense discussion with your tablemate.

The server will then interrupt you repeatedly for the duration.

David Begley said...

“That and the fact that the worms are still in the fish. They're just dead.”

Althouse cured me of any desire for sushi.

And note well, this problem does not exist with wonderful Nebraska beef. We are the Beef State.

rehajm said...

Wild fish have the potential for parasites. Those in the trade have observed the occurrence is lower in farmed fish.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

I'm not a big seafood eater, so I'm naturally thinking: thank God that's not likely to happen to me. Does anyone get fish up to a high enough temp before eating?

rehajm said...

Does anyone get fish up to a high enough temp before eating?

145 degrees dries out just about every type of fish- like a very, very well done burger.

Wince said...

"If I were a plumber, and you were a lawyer... would you marry me, would you have my baby?"

Most plumbers I know have calloused hands.

"You got city hands, Mr. Hooper. Counting money all your life."

Tommy Duncan said...

It takes attention to detail and a thick skin to run a successful restaurant. This owner failed on both aspects in this incident.

The statistics on restaurant failures are brutal.

Wince said...

Blogger rehajm said...
Does anyone get fish up to a high enough temp before eating?
145 degrees dries out just about every type of fish- like a very, very well done burger.


And on the eighth day... God created tartar sauce.

Wince said...

Eeek!

There's a worm in my codpiece!

Birkel said...

Of course people cook fish up to 145 degrees. Wrap the fish in foil with a generous portion of butter, herbs, and lemon and the fish will not be dry.

Foil packets are key.

Bay Area Guy said...

I like plumbers more than lawyers.

Meade said...

"Does anyone get fish up to a high enough temp before eating?"

Culver's

rhhardin said...

Stay away from foods that are verbs.

Meade said...

Bakin'

Birkel said...

I hope somebody broccolis rhhardin to death.
jk

gilbar said...

wow! i never heard it that way!
we always sang:

No body likes me
Everybody hates me
think i'll eat some worms (pronounces wor er er re ums)
long slim slimy ones
short fat juicy ones
itsy bitsy fuzy wuzy worms

First you bite the heads off
Then you suck the guts out
oh how they wiggle and they squirm (pronounced Squir er er re um)
long slim slimy ones
short fat juicy ones
itsy bitsy fuzzy wuzzy worms

Gulp goes the the first one
Gulp goes the second one
oh how they wiggle and they squirm (pronounced Squir er er re um)
long slim slimy ones
short fat juicy ones
itsy bitsy fuzzy wuzzy worms


Blech goes the the first one
Blech goes the second one
oh how they wiggle and they squirm (pronounced Squir er er re um)
long slim slimy ones
short fat juicy ones
itsy bitsy fuzzy wuzzy worms


it's fun! 'cause they're still wriggling as you throw them up !

I miss Y-camp!

Meade said...

"I like plumbers more than lawyers."

Equally risky if prepared tartare.

gilbar said...

i'd say that the DISTURBING part about the video was that the Worm
WAS STILL WRIGGLING ! (just like the ones in my song!)
This restaurant doesn't cook their fish enough!

Fernandinande said...

Here's my pre-viral meme: "Let them eat worms."


What's worser than finding a worm in your apple?
Finding half a worm.

Marcus said...

Since we are technical this morning: Fish (that is known as sushi grade fish) that is frozen and defrosted is STILL raw. Raw means "uncooked". Whether it is still "fresh" can be debated.

tcrosse said...

But make sure to eat the worm in the tequila bottle.

tim in vermont said...

I think that the excessive wait for the drinks set him up to be miffed in the first place, and undercooking the fish was the cherry on top. Plus who could resist making that video?

tim in vermont said...

There's a worm in my codpiece!

Dennis Rodman, is that you?

Big Mike said...

@Bay Area Guy, I am going to disagree with your comment at 6:38 and agree — mostly — with your comment at 7:18. I, for one, want to know which restaurant hires chefs that don’t know how to prepare seafood that is both delicious and safe. But I do like plumbers more than lawyers.

OTOH both are professions where if you need someone from that profession, you need someone who is good and you need that someone pretty badly.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“That and the fact that the worms are still in the fish. They're just dead.”

Althouse cured me of any desire for sushi.

Then you probably (really) don't want to know what kind of debris and insect parts are in the pre ground coffee that you buy and drink.

I started grinding my own coffee beans about 14 years ago after reading a WSJ (when I subscribed to the actual real paper paper) article about those statistics. Coffee fruits are dried on the ground and are swarming with wasps and other insects. There is no way to get all of that off of the dried beans....and in many of the 3rd world countries where coffee is grown, they don't give a shit (sorry Honey Badger).

So....I grind my own and try not to think about what is in cereal, flour, and a ton of other products we consume daily.

Have another cup of coffee :-)

tcrosse said...

So....I grind my own and try not to think about what is in cereal, flour, and a ton of other products we consume daily.

Actually, there are Federal Standards for allowable amounts of rat feces, bugs, and foreign matter in these products. I once worked at a place where they tested for that.

Martin said...

Maybe there's no way to avoid occasional worms in fish, but if the fish is properly cooked the worm is dead--the worm in the video is decidedly not dead--ergo, the restaurant did not cook the fish properly.

Which puts the restaurant's non-apology apology in the correct light. They need a visit from the health inspector to review the training of everyone who cooks and handles food.

rhhardin said...

There are no standards for the amound of radioactive waste in hamburger, which was suggested as a way to dispose of nuclear waste.

rhhardin said...

Claude Lévi-Strauss _The Raw and the Cooked_ a review of native American restaurants.

Mark said...

I grind my own and try not to think about what is in cereal, flour, and a ton of other products we consume daily.

There's a lot of things it is best not to think about. Such as what we each are carrying around inside of our bodies before we expel and flush it down.

Mark said...

We are all literally FOS.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Actually, there are Federal Standards for allowable amounts of rat feces, bugs, and foreign matter in these products.

I know! That is what the WSJ article was about. How much crap is allowed in our food. Actually it is almost impossible to keep that debris out since our food is grown in nature.

I figure that I can't eliminate the crud in flour, cornmeal etc....which is why I keep those things in the freezer to at least freeze the weevils. Like Althouse says. They are there but dead....or at least frozen for now.

Coffee is one of those things that I can, mostly, control by buying the whole roasted beans and grinding them myself. No sticks, small rocks, dead insects as there are in pre-ground coffee.

I'll still drink coffee in a restaurant....just not think about it. I won't die.

Another reason I am a big fan of irradiation in our food supply.

MadisonMan said...

But make sure to eat the worm in the tequila bottle.

I thought the worms were in Mezcal? (A totally excellent liquor, btw. Tequila: Meh)

Mark said...

More from the Post -

Anisakids can cause a parasitic disease called Anisakiasis — when then worms take up residence in a human’s stomach wall or intestines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. . . . "Also, some people experience vomiting as a symptom and this can often expel the worm from the body.”
Other symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea — sometimes with blood in the stool, according to the CDC.
Guinee called it “a pretty gross experience,” saying he was “concerned that Jen could possibly get sick.” But so far, he said, she seems fine.


With this story promoted below -

Read more:
He ate raw fish almost every day — until a 5-foot-long tapeworm slithered out of his body

Freeman Hunt said...

There was a live worm in food the guy had been eating. Not a lot of sympathy for the restaurant.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

If the girlfriend becomes seriously ill as a result of eating parasitic worms, then airing this publicly ahead of time is a pretty smart move on the attorney's part. He'll be representing her, natch.

Bill Peschel said...

During the turn of the last century, bakers would knead bread with their feet.

This spurred the introduction of white bread, to show how pure they were.

This was disgusting, but we've tolerated worse.

IIRR, Hammurabi's Code dealt with merchants who adulterated their produce.

Seeing Red said...

We are all literally FOS.

Except when we get colonoscopies.

Earnest Prole said...

If I were a plumber, would they have attacked me as ‘a callous plumber?’

Q: You're locked in a jail cell with Hitler, Stalin, and a lawyer. Through the bars the guard hands you a loaded pistol with two bullets. What do you do?

A: Shoot the lawyer. Twice.

gilbar said...

So....I grind my own and try not to think about what is in cereal, flour, and a ton of other products we consume daily.
have you looked at your bag (sack?) of flour when you open it?
They now say: "Taste after cooking, do not consume raw flour"
Not, do not consume raw dough (what with the eggs, and all); but do not consume raw flour

Dust Bunny Queen said...

have you looked at your bag (sack?) of flour when you open it?

I freeze my flour and other dry goods (cornmeal, polenta, beans, barley, cracked wheat etc) for at least a month before I use. We have two large upright freezers for storage. I also sift my flour before using.

Fun story told to me by a lady many years ago, who lived through the Depression, and when they didn't have freezers and when you couldn't afford to be picky.

Weevils and bugs in flour were a thing. Everyone had weevils and you either ate the baked goods or starved. Naturally, her kids and her husband were grossed out by the idea of bugs and bug parts. She would sift the flour and get most of the 'debris' and bugs out, but as always there were specks. Bread wasn't a problem because she was using home ground whole wheat so specks and crunchies are expected.

So....she just decided that when she made a cake or cookies and it had specks in it....it would be called "Spice Cake" or "Spice Cookies). Everyone ate it..... and no one died.

JohnAnnArbor said...

Dennis Rodman, is that you?

Maybe the band Cameo is in town.

Infinite Monkeys said...

small worms that were found by two of our guests

Are the poster of the video and his girlfriend the two guests or was she one and another diner that didn't post about it the other?

Howard said...

you snowflakes should avoid seeing how the sausage is made. el gusano en Mezcal not Tequila, sailor boy

tcrosse said...

Thanks, jarhead.

Darrell said...

showed a worm-like creature crawling out of a piece of his girlfriend's cod

Is that what kids are calling it these days? I've only heard of it referred to as a clam, or oyster shell.

The Godfather said...

Most of us don't think about the invisible things that we ingest or inhale, so they are no problem to us. We do try to follow a few sensible rules, like cooking our food before we eat it. If we don't follow such rules -- for example if we eat sushi -- we have to accept the consequences. In the case at hand, if the worm had been dead, I doubt anyone would have noticed it; it would have looked and tasted like the fish. If this had been me, I would have remembered the punch line of the old joke, We can never go back to the Four Seasons again.

Darrell said...

During the turn of the last century, bakers would knead bread with their feet.

2001? Or are one of those 2000 fellows?

Howard said...

Binge drinking pays off

Ambrose said...

If I were a plumber, and you were a lady
Would you marry me anyway?
Would you have my baby?
If a tinker were my trade, would you still find me
Carrying the pots I made, following behind me?

Abdul Abulbul Amir said...

Bight they heads off
Suck they guts out
Throw the skins away

Gordon Scott said...

I once took a spoonful of turkey soup in a restaurant, only to find a chunk of broken glass in my mouth. There being no social media, I told the server, who told the manager, who apologized and said they would toss the rest of the soup, just in case. He did comp my meal, which I thought was fine.

Try reading a new book: "This is Your Brain On Parasites." Research is suggesting that various animal behaviors are driven by the parasites inside their bodies. This includes human animals, although the researchers are very cautious about those claims. For one reason, you just can't do double-blind studies by giving one group a parasite and another group nothing.

There is a worm that grows in the brain of crickets. But to mate and lay eggs, it needs to be in the bile duct of birds. How does it get there? It makes the cricket jump into water, and then the worm crawls out in hopes of being eaten by a bird.

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