3.8 million views: Video of live parasite in wild salmon at Costco goes viral

Editorial staff

A video filmed in the seafood aisle of US retailer Costco has gone viral on social media platform Tiktok.

In a clip posted by hairstylist Rachel Lyn in August and tagged at Costco in Charlotte, North Carolina, what appears to be a small, translucent worm can be seen burrowing its way into a portion of salmon.

“Bruh, not the live worms in the salmon at Costco,” she wrote. “Immediately put it back.” The post has attracted close to four million views since.

The worm is likely to be a type of parasite called anisakid nematodes.

While anisakids pose minimal risk to human health, the reaction to the video suggest they are a major potential consumer relations issue.


Live parasites in the salmon today at #costco yummmm 🤨😩

♬ Oh No – Kreepa

Nematodes are, in fact, the most common parasite found in marine fishes, and are also present in cod, herring and pollock, but are often easier to see in these fish than they are on salmon.

In October last year, a McDonald’s executive told an audience of  industry leaders that the fast-food chain is seeing a rise in issues in the raw material used for its Filet-O-Fish, with the nematode parasite highlighted as one of his biggest concerns.

Viewers of the video appear to be as horrified by the price of the salmon as by the live worm. “For the $32.09 comes with live bate too,” one user wrote.

This apparently shocking price is despite processors such as Trident Seafoods offering fishermen in Alaska as little as $0.50 per pound this year for sockeye salmon.

Founded in 1983 in Seattle, Costco has grown exponentially from its humble beginnings to establish itself as a giant in the retail industry. As of 2022, the company stands tall as the fifth largest retailer in the world, recording more than $220 billion in sales.


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