Frederick woman buys packaged fish from Costco, finds live worm inside

A Maryland woman said she found a worm in the fish that she bought from her local Costco store and posted the evidence of it on Facebook, which has gone viral.

Emily Randolph bought a 2-pound package of fresh wild Atlantic cod at the Costco in Frederick on Feb. 9. She planned to cook it a few days later before the “Sell By” date of Feb. 12. However, she said the fish had begun to take on a bad smell. She and her husband then took a look and saw the live worm inside the package.

“It was big,” said Randolph. “I have even Googled it since then and that was a very large worm. It should have been caught before it was put out to the public to potentially eat.”

She brought the food item back to Costco this past Monday and the store gave her a refund, but she was not exactly pleased with their response. According to the employee they returned their fish to, they were not the only customers with this issue.

“We were returning cod, but the person before us had just returned salmon that had worms in it,” Randolph said.

Randolph posted the video of the worm squirming in her fish on Facebook as a heads up to her friends to check on their food before they eat it. It has been viewed more than 250,000 times as of Thursday night and has been shared more than 4,000 times.

Many people posted that they were grossed out, but others commenters were bewildered that so many people were not aware that raw fish, especially bottom feeders like cod, can have worms.

Kathryn Kirk, a gastroenterologist in the D.C. area, told FOX 5 that “as disconcerting as that is, per the infectious disease specialist and the CDC, those worms will be killed if you properly cook fish and they shouldn't cause any symptoms at all.”

The Frederick County Health Department said it is aware of the matter and will investigate Randolph's report.

However, a health spokeswoman said as long as fish is cooked properly, parasites will die off and should not be a health hazard. She said fish needs to be brought to a temperature of 145 degrees for a minimum of 15 seconds to be safe.

Costco said they closely inspect all fish and work to remove any parasites, but every so often, some slip through the cracks.

They also provided us a handout about parasites that they give to concerned customers. However, Randolph said she was not provided with this sheet.