Published On: Tue, Nov 25th, 2014

Tongue Eating Parasite in Supermarket Fish Nearly Ruins Retired Teacher’s Afternoon

cymotha exigua parasite

Don’t you just hate when that happens. Paul Poli, a South Wales retired school headmaster, almost bit into a tongue-eating parasite in his fish supper, the South Wales Evening Post reported.

The 62-year-old was minding his own business, munching on a sea bass he had purchased at a local supermarket, when he discovered the parasite, cymothoa exigua, a.k.a. the tongue-eating louse.

The thing enters a fish through the gills, attaches itself to the fish’s tongue, then eats the tongue to become the fish’s new one, sharing whatever the fish eats.

Paul Poli (do you get beaten up a lot with a name like that? Pushed down the stairs?) has received an apology from the supermarket, “along with an offer of a bottle of wine and a £20 voucher, ” according to the SWEP.

He told the media: “It was disgusting. I’d bought it at lunch time and cooked it in a bag for dinner. It was about 3 centimeters long and 8 millimeters wide. I love fish but it’s put me off it for life now. I’m worried if it came from a fish farm, others could be infected too.”

OK, so by now you realize that you’ve been suckered by the story headline just like we were, because the little, yellow parasite is not harmful to humans, only to fish. We were suckered by the original headline: “There’s a tongue-eating parasite in my fish supper, ” which is inspired, but sooo misleading.

A spokesperson for the store said: “Certain fishes often pick up parasites naturally from their eco system. Although we make every effort to screen these out during the skinning or packaging processes, they may be present on very rare occasions. Our skilled fishmongers will also identify them as they fillet a fish – Mr Poli’s fish was sold un-filleted at his request.

“We have already offered Mr Poli our apologies as well as a £20 voucher as a gesture of good will.”

That’s all. Nothing more to see here, go home, everybody.

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