June is National Safety Month and one of the best ways to stay safe is be informed. With that in mind, here is some information on a very common type of food poisoning, particularly in our part of the world.

Over 400 known fish species have been classified as potential ciguatoxin carriers. Ciguatera is a type of food poisoning. Examples of species associated with cases in Florida and the Caribbean region include barracuda, grouper, amberjack, snapper, tuna, kingfish, eel, trevally, seabass, mackerel, hogfish, and mahi-mahi. Cooking fish does not kill the heat-stable toxin. Ciguatoxic fish do not carry a foul odor or taste.

The symptoms associated with ciguatera may include: vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain or cramping, itchy skin; aching teeth, muscles, or joints; tingling sensation in the extremities, painful urination, and temperature reversal with a typical onset within 24 hours following fish consumption.

Gastrointestinal symptoms typically present first, within 24 hours of exposure, followed by neurological symptoms which usually begin 1-2 days following the exposure.

Rare secondary cases of mother-to-child transmission during breastfeeding and male-to-female sexual transmission have been reported.

Read more about the treatment and find out what you should do and what you should NOT to do if you think you have ciguatera poisoning.