SHAM EL-NASSIM is an Egyptian traditional festival that comes at the beginning of the spring, falling on Easter Monday, and is a national holiday. It has been nationally celebrated by the Egyptian people since ancient times.
It is a well-established tradition that Egyptians celebrate Sham el-Nassim with eating herring, and feseekh.
Feseekh is a smelly fermented fish that, if not properly prepared, can lead to botulism poisoning and to
death in very rare cases.
“Cases of poisoning and death from feseekh occur annually in Egyptin Sham el-Nassim,’ Dr Mai Tag elDien, a food safety consultant, advices the Egyptian people. “Don’t be one of the victims, and eat healthy food to protect yourself and your family against coronavirus”.
Dr Tag el-Dien provided The Egyptian Gazette with 10 tips to avoid food poisoning in Sham el-Nassim.
These tips are as follows:
1– If you are going to buy herring, buy it from a trusted place, preferably packaged.
2– It is preferred that the body of the fish be shiny golden and not swollen, and the skin is intact without cracks.
3– Its smell must be free from any foul, musty or rancid odor.
4– The flesh of the fish should be knit, not mushy, and not brown.
5– The fish should be free from any black spots or white rot.
6– It is preferable to expose it to heat before eating and squeeze lemon on it.
7– The most important step is to examine the fish from the inside because there are types of Anisakis worms that have a complex life cycle. A person can be a part of this cycle when they eat raw fish such as herring and sushi. If those worms entered the human body, they cause allergy and also affect the intestinal wall.
8– In order to protect yourself, the World Health Organisation recommends that the fish should be heated to a temperature of 63 degrees Celsius.
9– You can also put it in the freezer at 35 degrees Celsius for 15 hours or 20 degrees for 7 days.
10– Finally, pregnant women and patients should stay away from eating herring because they are more susceptible to disease.