Scomboid food poisoning from bad fish likely cause of death in Bali

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54 year old Noelene Bischoff and her 14 year old daughter Yvana are thought to have been killed by Scombroid poisoning. This is a particularly rare type of food poisoning with a very wide range of symptoms.

Food Poisoning

Scombroid poisoning is a specific type of seafood poisoning, like ciguatera poisoning.

Scombroid food poisoning


Last Month Noelene and Yvana fell ill whilst on holiday in Bali, and sadly they died from their illness. The circumstances surrounding their death are not yet fully known, however, foul play isn't suspected. What is suspected is scombroid food poisoning, which is contracted from fish that has 'gone-off'.

The signs of scombroid food poisoning are similar to an allergic reaction, with symptoms including:

  • Flushing and sweating
  • Dizziness and/or blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Headache
  • Rash across the body and/or face
  • Breathing problems
  • Swelling of the tongue

In this case, Noelene and Yvana both suffered from mild cases of asthma, which is believed to have potentially played a part. It is known that something caused them to choke for air before they died. It is possible that their underlying asthma complicated breathing difficulties often suffered from if you have scombroid fish poisoning.

What do we know about seafood poisoning?


This type of food poisoning is less common than the likes of Salmonella or Campylobacter, because of this, less is known about it. With it being lesser known it could mean that little is done to prevent it in countries where health and safety and food hygiene standards are more lax.

Those of you who remember Michael Winner may also remember he was struck down with a bug called Vibrio vulnificus from some Oysters he had on holiday. While he survived the bug, he constantly told us how lucky he was to be alive after the illness caused liver and kidney failure, as well as blood poisoning.

Top tips to take home


  • Scombroid food poisoning occurs in fish that has started to rot – Look for signs of this before you eat because even if cooked you are still at risk
  • If you're choosing your own fish in a restaurant, pink gills can be a good indicator that it's fresh
  • Remember that scombroid food poisoning has similar symptoms to an allergic reaction


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