Poles are eating berries from the bush like crazy. Sanepid warns: This summer pleasure is associated with a huge risk

Poles are eating berries from the bush like crazy. Sanepid warns: This summer pleasure is associated with a huge risk

The berry season has begun and the first berries can already be found in the forests. With them, a threat has returned that some of us may not be aware of.

The berries are undoubtedly tasty and worth trying at least once a season. However, the price at the bazaars — unfortunately, more and more — is shocking from year to year. No wonder some people decide to pick blueberries themselves. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as we take certain precautions.

Be careful with berries eaten from the bush

From summer trips to the forest I remember large areas of tiny green plants covered with tiny purple-blue balls. To this day, this view reminds me of the pleasant taste of berries that I used to snack on back then. Now I don’t do it anymore and the reason is serious. So serious that the Sanitary Inspectorate warns against this dangerous practice every year.

Reaching for fruit straight from the bush is unfortunately asking for trouble. The location of the plants means that they can be a breeding ground for a dangerous disease carried by forest animals – echinococcosis. In this case, the saying “prevention is better than cure” takes on a new meaning.

Why should you wash berries before eating?

Echinococcosis is a disease caused by a tapeworm present in the feces of forest animals. Unfortunately, these are odorless and almost invisible to our eyes. Therefore, it is impossible to assess whether a berry hanging on a bush is free of the dangerous parasite.

What’s more, the symptoms of the infection are so non-specific that it is difficult to even quickly realize that we are sick. The presence of hydatid in the body is only associated with the gradual formation of cysts around the larvae of the parasite. They can most often be located in the liver, lungs and brain. We usually learn about their existence only when they grow enough to press on the neighboring tissues. Then it is also very easy to confuse them with cancer, because they look very similar on all diagnostic images.

The correct diagnosis is often made when the cyst bursts, which is a very dangerous moment. For this reason, it is necessary to use safety measures. First of all, you should refrain from eating freshly picked berries. It is also worth picking them using gloves. The fruit should also be washed absolutely – thoroughly and under running, warm water. This is the only way to minimize the risk of infection. Let’s be safe this and every next summer.

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