Alert In Japan After Toxic 'Fugu' Meat Accidentally Sold By Supermarket


A central Japanese city has used its emergency loudspeaker system to warn residents to avoid eating blowfish meat after it was discovered that one package of the fish still contained toxic liver.

A local supermarket in Gamagori city sold five portions of blowfish which had not had their livers removed.

The health ministry ordered the store to recall all the blowfish packages and suspend their sale, but the store told officials that it will no longer sell blowfish, Ohashi said.

Three of these have been located, and no one has yet been harmed, but two remain missing.

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

Fugu fish, also known as pufferfish, is one of the most expensive winter delicacies in Japan, though eating it can be like playing Russian roulette.

The potential for death is greater if eaten as part of a soup - when eaten raw the fugu can often cause intoxication and light-headedness and sometimes it can be purposely eaten for this very reason.

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It prompted officials to broadcast a warning to residents on the city's loudspeakers. But the fish's skin, intestines, ovaries, and liver contain the poison tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide.

There is no antidote to the poison.

However, the meat requires careful preparation to remove toxic parts of the fish, such as the liver.

"Fugu lovers say that the presence of a small amount of poison, and the tingling sensation which it produces in the lips and gums, enhances the pleasure of eating the fish", says The Times.

Dozens of people are poisoned by fugu every year.

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