Japanese hunt deadly fugu fish sold in supermarket error

Glen Mclaughlin
January 17, 2018

TOKYO (AP) - A city in central Japan used its emergency loudspeaker system in an attempt to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver.

The regional health ministry office said Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, a supermarket in Gamagori City, Aichi prefecture, sold five packages of assorted fugu meat containing liver, which is toxic and banned.

Three of the five packets sold have so far been found and no one is believed to have been harmed, but concerns are growing over two packets that remain missing.

The officials are using loudspeakers, which are used to make announcements during an quake and other disasters, to alert residents.

"We are calling for residents to avoid eating fugu, using Gamagori city's emergency wireless system", he told AFP.

The part of the fish that contains the poison can differ from one fugu to another, with the "rapid and violent" poison said to be 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide. Tetrodotoxin poison will cause numbness around the mouth, then paralysis and that can lead to a person's death.

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Pufferfish, or fugu, is an expensive delicacy often served in the form of paper-thin sashimi slices.

"Eating fugu liver can paralyze motor nerves, and in a serious case cause respiratory arrest leading to death", the warning stated. And there is no antidote to this poison.

But a Japanese town has gone on high alert after a supermarket sold packets of the deadly fugu pufferfish, without its notoriously poisonous parts removed.

Chefs in Japan require years of training and a special licence if they plan to prepare & serve fugu.

Several people are killed each year in Japan from blowfish poisoning.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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