1. Goldfish Swallowing

There’s a trend that’s to be surfacing in current years… and also it’s no smart.

You are watching: What happens if you eat a goldfish

It’s called “goldfish swallowing.”

First: people take a live goldfish (almost constantly a feeder fish) which don’t cost more than two quarters. Then? castle gulp that down.

What walk this accomplish, exactly? (Besides gift cruel to the bad fish…)

You’re possibly ingesting pathogens that might make friend sick. (More ~ above those later.)

To me, the many ironic thing around this stunt is this:

“Another opportunity in the beginnings of goldfish swallowing comes from Chicagobartenders, most notably Matt Schulien (who performedmagicwhile tending bar in ~ his family’s restaurant). That would reduced upcarrots to look prefer goldfish tails. As soon as performing the stunt, bartenders favor Schulien would reach into a bowl of goldfish kept behind the bar if palming the carrot piece, placing the in in between their pursed lips, utilizing their tongues to bar it up and also down to mimic the action of a live fish, lastly swallowing the carrot piece. The cheat dates ago to the 1920s, and some people believe that the fad might have been started by college students fooled through the trick…” (Source)

By swallowing the goldfish you space publicly replicating the exercise of those that were duped by the sleight-of-hand.

Weird, right? ns digress…

2. Goldfish together a Food resource for People

Image Credit: Vasehaus, ShutterstockDo goldfish make great fish to eat?

I experienced the inquiry surface when the recent intrusion of a lake in Colorado through goldfish left many folks wondering what could be done v all the overfill fish.

Most goldfish keepers have an instant “Eew!” response.

And I recognize it:

It seems really weird come me too.

I could probably never lug myself come eat a goldfish after maintaining them as pets for so numerous years, that’s for sure.

But to look in ~ the concern seriously…

Carp (the granddaddy of the goldfish) have actually been offered as a source of food.

They have gotten a negative rap for tasting “muddy…”

… but some to speak this deserve to be avoided by no stressing the fish during capture (source).

The very same may it is in true the goldfish.


Because most have actually been eating a diet of flakes or pellets almost exclusively, they may not taste much various than just that.

(Pop a pellet and see just how that tastes come you!)


Eating raw goldfish is a really bad idea.

Consuming life fish tote a higher risk of helminth transmission, especially pathogens such together capillaria (intestinal worms).

Worm infestations in goldfish are pretty common.

And they deserve to spread come people, if ingested.

But it gets worse:

The key reason ns strongly discourage eating a goldfish – life or cooking – is since of details zoonotic bacteria that can possibly survive the cooking process and infect people.

And these are more common 보다 you think.

Mycobacteria conditions (i.e. Fish TB) can remain dormant in the systems of most goldfish, even those that appear healthy.

They usually acquire it native the pet store.

And they room transmittable to people.

Credit: mrk3PHOTO, ShutterstockI mean:

I usage UV sterilizers and aquarium gloves just interacting with mine fish tanks for maintain for my very own protection!

Consuming a goldfish is just asking for trouble, in mine opinion.


Some people will say, “Show me somebody who has actually contracted one of these illnesses after swallowing or eat goldfish.”

The practice isn’t very common, so i doubt I can show you any scientific research studies that show what percentage of people may contract disease.

But native what ns know around the opportunity of transmitting epidemic from fish to people…

… i wouldn’t recommend risking it.

But if you’re dead-set on law it, it’s approximately you.

Wild-caught carp are probably much more secure to eat together the condition isn’t as usual in indigenous waters.

Maybe girlfriend can get your deal with going fishing and cooking some of them up.

I’ve heard they can be quite tasty!

3. Goldfish together Food because that Pets

Maybe this is worthy of whole post unto itself.

But I thought I’d touch top top the practice that a many of world follow the feeding feeder goldfish come reptiles (including turtles.)


I can not speak strongly enough versus doing this!

Aquariums that were supplied to home fish have been known to transmit nasty mycobacterial conditions to reptiles when they to be repurposed (source).

This is due to the fact that mycobacterial illness are transmittable come reptiles native fish.

And that’s just from poignant the exact same surfaces that were contaminated…

… permit alone ingesting the infected fish!

As I stated earlier, these illness are very common – specifically from pets store/feeder fish.


If friend care about your pet – carry out NOT feeding them fish from the pets store.

They are not a clean source of food at all.

If you’re lucky enough to have actually a goldfish pond, and/or you have a resource of little young fish the are well-known to it is in disease-free for a long time, climate maybe.

But a feeder tank?


The risks are simply too good that in a couple of months her pet will end up being sick.

That’s my take, I recognize there are most likely a many of world who won’t agree or who have done so there is no issues.


Final Thoughts

Consuming goldfish may seem harmless sufficient at an initial glance.

But there are legitimate risks.

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For the reason:

I recommend preventing them as a food source unless you know for a reality they don’t harbor disease.

(And it’s type of tough to know that for a fact.)


… What do you think?

Have you ever tried eat goldfish?

Am i the just one who sees any potential difficulties here – or execute you have a various opinion?