The lives of Noelene Bischoff and her 14 year old daughter Yvana could have been saved by something as simple as storing the fish in a colder area.
After taking over the autopsy from Indonesian investigators at the request of the family, Queensland authorities have said that early indications show that scombroid food poisoning in conjunction with asthma suffered by the pair may have caused their tragic deaths.
After enjoying dinner at a Bali restaurant in early January the pair died within hours of each other. Scombroid food poisoning occurs when fish such as mackerel, tuna, sardines and mahi mahi is left in temperatures that are over 5 degrees. When the fish dies, bacteria that occurs naturally then converts the amino acid histidine into the toxic histamine which can cause severe, allergy-like symptoms.
Juliana Madden, executive officer for the Food Safety Information Council, said that the toxin can even be passed from one piece of fish to the other.
"It's one of those horrible, perfect storm situations where they were the wrong people at the wrong time .... the fish can look okay, it can smell okay and taste okay."