29 Jan 2022

Longford chef reveals why diners should be aware of what's in their food

Gary O'Hanlon tells Today FM what's in our fish

Gary O'Hanlon

There's something fishy about swordfish, according to popular Longford chef Gary O'Hanlon, who warned Today FM listeners about the dangers of the dish on live radio yesterday.

Speaking to Dermot and Dave on Today FM yesterday morning, Gary said that a lot of fish, including swordfish is "riddled with worms".

The Viewmount House Head Chef, who is also on TV3's 'The Restaurant' and was recently crowned 'Best Chef in Leinster' at the Irish Restaurant Awards, told listeners: "You wouldn’t see as much swordfish around Ireland as you would in the States, but they can be riddled with worms. But again almost every fish is.

“All fish have worms. You’ll very rarely see swordfish on a sushi menu. In Oregon, in fact, it’s illegal to serve fresh swordfish unless it’s been frozen first.

“If it goes down to a certain depth in temperature it kills worms and obviously if you cook it to a certain temperature it kills them as well."

The Longford chef said he didn't want to put anyone off ordering fish, and said that he only wanted to make sure people were aware of what's in their food.

“A piece of white fish like cod has lots of worms. And you look at it and think that looks amazing but I look at it and say there’s a worm there and a worm there.

“I don’t really like to cook them, these things are like the terminator, you could cook them and they’d still come out looking up at you."

But at the Viewmount House, Gary says, he removes the worms from the fish he cooks.

“I actually get pinhead pliers and pull them out and you just have your little worm tray alongside your preparation board. But not everybody is going to do that.

“People might not want to hear it, but all fish, most wild fish in particular, would have worms.”

Later, when interviewed by The Irish Sun Gary said that he isn't telling people not to order fish in restaurants. In fact, he encourages people to continue ordering fish.

He said that he is simply letting people know what's in their food: "For example, there can be greenfly on salad leaf but that wouldn’t put people off eating it,” he told the Sun.

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