When is swimming pool food safe?
The answer is often not immediately obvious, says James Gee, a lecturer at the University of NSW’s School of Medicine.
“It’s usually about 3 to 4 weeks after eating the fish, but there’s always a period of time where they don’t show any signs of infection,” Dr Gee said.
He said the only time the fish would be considered a public health threat was if they had been infected with a virus.
He also warned that swimming pool salts and chips should be avoided for two weeks following consumption.
The NSW Department of Primary Industries and Consumer Protection said a lot of research had been done into how to prevent swimming pool water becoming contaminated.
“This study did not include swimming pool salts,” a spokesperson said.
“The research used the salted water and chips to determine the effect of the salt on the fish.”
The Department of Health’s Aquatic and Aquatic Fisheries Agency said the research it had commissioned also did not involve fish.
“We’ve used this information for a variety of other products, and we’re not going to be commenting on this particular study,” the agency said in a statement.
“There’s no scientific basis to support claims that salt consumption causes swimming pool illness.”
If you or anyone you know has a swimming pool sickness, call 000.