Deadly blowfish guts sold at grocery; Japanese city officials send emergency warning

Faith Castro
January 18, 2018

Fugu is one of Japan's most expensive delicacies, despite almost a dozen people having suffered agonizing deaths from its toxic parts over the past decade.

Five packs of Yorito fugu (blunt head blowfish) were sold at a supermarket located in Gamagori city, in the central Aichi Prefecture, by a licensed employee who had not removed the livers, according to Hiroko Mizuno, an official from the district's Life and Hygiene department.

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

Three packages of the unsafe delicacy have already been located and will be retrieved, but the authorities still don't know where the remaining two are, Takayanagi added.

In 2014, 11 members of the same family suffered severe poisoning after they ate incorrectly prepared pufferfish.

The inclusion of the liver in the package could have contaminated the other meat with the fugu poison.

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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.

The two people who consumed the fish have not reported any health problems as this time. But the fish's skin, intestines, ovaries, and liver contain the poison tetrodotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than cyanide.

The illegal sales surfaced Monday when a buyer of one package took it to a health center. "With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters".

Japanese fugu fish is deadly to humans if incorrectly prepared. One fugu could kill up to 30 people and there is no known antidote.

An official statement warned: "Eating a blowfish liver can in a serious case cause respiratory arrest and death".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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