Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
May 26, 2006 05:32 PM

Worms in my cod

  • h

I bought a nice looking scrod filet to broil and when I opened the wrapper, I found two small, live worms on the fish (more like half in, half out). After a call to two fish sellers, I was assured that this was normal for a "bottom dweller" and that I had a fresh catch. So I broiled the cod and was enjoying it when I found two dead worms halfway through my meal. I decided to throw it out and am now eating the guacamole I made earlier.

I realize all sorts of organisms can get into the food we eat and maybe those tiny worms are not a big deal but I'm a little grossed out. I don't eat a lot of fish but I've only had one other experience like this one; worms on my raw oysters at a restaurant in New Orleans.

I guess I'm wondering in the case of the scrod, is there anything the fish monger can do to get rid of the worms? Burried in the fish's flesh, I don't know what they can do to completely eradicate the worms. Did I just get unlucky with this filet? I'd love to hear some hounds opinions about the worms in my scrod.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Happens to salmon too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Candy

      Yes, this happened to me many years ago when a piece of worm crawled out of my salmon, which I had just taken out of the frige (I bought it that day). I come from a culture that eats just about anything, but since I never wanted worms with my food, I chucked the salmon. I've also found live critters in organic vegetables.

      1. re: gloriousfood

        I'll never forget at the height of my vegetarian period being dismayed when served bouillabaisse at a neighborhood get together--the kind where everything in the soup is whole, has eyes staring at you, & requires decapitating. I looked hopefully up at my garden fresh salad. Just then, a large green worm sauntered across the top of the just picked vegetables...

        1. re: gloriousfood

          Yeah. I'm all for organic but if they made add to 'farm fresh organic' something like "might have bugs!" there goes the appeal.

          I never eat whole strawberries anymore. Anything sized like it might be a weekend vacation retreat for a small critter gets sliced and examined before ingestion. (I do what I can.)

      2. Wild fish often has some worms in it, especially the more predatory ones. The worms are not diseased or germ-laden, they are not poisonous; if you ate a cooked one by accident and didn't see it you'd never know it, and it wouldn't make you sick. When I was eating regularly at the table of some homesteader friends in Anchor Point, Alaska, whose principal protein source was salmon, I quickly learned that the proper etiquette upon finding a worm in your steak or filet was to set it aside and say nothing. They were then fed to the dogs.

        The only way to get rid of these worms, AFAIK, is to either pull the meat apart and extract them, or dunk the fish in something toxic that would render it inedible.

        1. A friend of mine found a worm in his fish chowder (full of cod/haddock) at Legal's one time - he brought it back expecting some sort of compensation. They gave him none, said that while they do their best to make sure that parasites are removed while processing, it's not 100%, and they're not harmful. Cod (of all types) are caught on lines sunk to the bottom, so they are bottom feeders, as the fishmonger said.

          1. is there anything the fish monger can do to get rid of the worms?

            The fish monger should be using a lighted table, aka candling.

            I'd love to hear some hounds opinions about the worms in my scrod.

            Worms are natural. But be careful when eating "home prepared" raw fish (sushi/sashimi).

            1. I found worms in sole bought from a very good fish market and stopped buying there for years. I know it is natural but I'm with you- I have no interest in eating worms, natural or not. Horrible.