Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fugu Poisoning

This is why I haven't checked fugu off my Omnivore's 100 list.
Seven diners in northern Japan fell ill and three were still in hospital today after eating blowfish testicles prepared in a restaurant not authorised to serve the poisonous delicacy. The owner of the restaurant in Tsuruoka city, who is also the chef, had no licence to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence, police official Yoshihito Iwase said.

Iwase said the seven men ordered sashimi and grilled blowfish testicles at the restaurant last night. Shortly after, they developed limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness – typical signs of blowfish poisoning – and were rushed to a hospital for treatment.

A 68-year-old diner was in a critical condition with respiratory failure and two others, aged 55 and 69, were in serious condition, Iwase said. "It's scary. If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license," Iwase said, using the Japanese term for blowfish.

Blowfish poison, called tetrodotoxin, is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide, according to the Ishikawa health service association. Eating it can cause death within an hour and a half.

Three people died and 44 others became ill from blowfish poisoning in Japan in 2007 – most of them after catching the fish and cooking it at home, according to the health ministry.

from: The Guardian


Anonymous said...


Athenaeus said...

Eating Fugu anywhere but Japan (and in a licensed establishment) is very dangerous. I've heard of fishermen catching a blowfish and cooking it on the beach only to find themselves experiencing these very same symptoms. Even a properly prepared Fugu imparts a slight tingle to the extremeties.

woolies said...

We used to catch blowfish in the Atlantic ocean. My mother knew to remove - I think it was - a poisonous vein. We never got sick, and used to love it.
....don't think I'd eat it today!

Lucky said...

ok, so that's no peanut butter and no blowfish. i gotta start making a list.

Lucky said...

more foodie posts please :)

Brisbane hotels said...

Fugu poisoning occurs when a person eats the flesh of a fugu, also known as a puffer fish, which contains lethal toxins.
The most common symptoms of fugu poisioning are tingling and burning of the mouth and tongue, numbness, drowsiness, and incoherent speech. These symptoms usually occur 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion of the fish, depending on the amount of toxin ingested. In severe cases, ataxia (the inability to coordinate the movements of muscles), muscle weakness, hypotension (low blood pressure) and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) may develop, followed by muscle twitching and respiratory paralysis, and death can occur. In several cases, people died within 17 minutes after eating pufferfish.