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Somtam Liver Fluke test - anyone had it?


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Anyone been tested for Liver Fluke? 
The statistics are scare, very high rates of liver cancer in Issan. I've lived there and eaten a lot of somtam, which seems to be a good way to get it. 


How about eating Somtam in Bangkok or other places where they use bottled sauce, and not the home made stuff which can have the liver fluke parasite?

Some people said its still dangerous, as they use fresh water crabs, which can also have parasites, and so cause problems by contaminating the bowl.


I'm not usually someone who worries about health, I don't worry about water or contamination, but the rates of cancer from this are scary.


Can I eat Somtam in BKK or CM even if they use fresh water crabs. Are they likely to use processed and safe sauce that's not contaminated?


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No, you should not eat som tam made with fresh crabs.


You should not eat uncooked shellfish or fish in any form.


Som tam can be made without these and is quite good.


The standard test for liver fluke is a stool test but it has to be a specvial one called formalin ethyl-acetate concentration technique  (FECT), not just your usual run of the mill stool test. And the test is nto that accurate, false negatives and positives are common.

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Thanks for the info.


This was my concern. If I eat Somtam in BKK, even if they don't use homemade sauce, they're using freshwater crabs, and so the bowl can be contaminated with parasites from them.


I assume this is an issue with some of the sushi you can buy here from little stores or at the market - no safety.

I'm not normally someone who worries about this stuff, but the statistics are shocking.

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  • 2 months later...

I remember one time watching some rice paddies being sprayed with insecticide, then an hour later, women gathering dead crabs from the irrigation ditches adjacent to the sprayed paddies.

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  • 1 year later...

I asked the Som Tam Somchai that comes by my house (in Pattaya) to use shrimp instead of crabs when making Som Tam. That was a "personal preference" issue as I didn't think the fluke worms were an issue with shellfish/crustaceans but I guess if they are grown in the same areas where the fluke worms are a problem then they must be susceptible to them as well.


Previous to this I thought the problem was confined to the fish raised (mainly) in Isaan.


The shrimp the vendor uses are tiny, dried brine shrimp. Not too likely that any flukes would still be alive in those tiny little things so I'm not going to worry much about it. 

It is getting to the point where no matter what we eat, it is developing some kind of bug that will kill us ! Mad Cow disease, Bird Flu, Liver Fluke, Hoof and Mouth, Swine Flu, Salmonella, Botulism.


It's almost like our food doesn't want us to eat it !!!

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  • 9 months later...


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