Seafood industry refutes flu jab rumour

Seafood Industry Australia, the national body representing the seafood industry, has urged Australians not to get swept up in false claims that eating fish and chips could impact the effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine.

“These claims are simply not true,” SIA CEO Jane Lovell said. “Rest assured, there is absolutely no reason to stop enjoying fish and chips this winter.”

The study by Michigan State University found mice which were given the preservative tBHQ, commonly found in processed or frozen meats and cooking oils, had an altered immune response that could possibly impact the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. This study has not been conducted on humans.

“Clearly, the issue lies with cooking oils containing tBHQ in this study on mice. I am baffled as to why the media are not warning people off an array of fast food, including the popular Chiko roll. Why single out fish and chips? Stories like this only serve to create fear among the millions of Australians who eat seafood as part of their healthy, balanced year-round diet.

In fact, eating seafood as part of a balanced diet can actually help fight off the flu. Prawns and oily fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which can help to reduce inflammation, along with vitamin B12, which is a powerful immune booster.