Fugu blowfish fail sparks emergency warning in Japan city

A Japanese city issued an emergency alert to residents Monday after two people ate potentially dangerous portions of ...

Posted: Jan 16, 2018 11:21 PM
Updated: Jan 16, 2018 11:21 PM

A Japanese city issued an emergency alert to residents Monday after two people ate potentially dangerous portions of fugu fish that should not have been sold.

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.

The fish, also referred to as puffer fish, contains a toxin hundreds of times more poisonous than cyanide; its liver alone can contain enough poison to kill five men. Japan has laws in place to ensure it is prepared and detoxified properly before it is sold.

Fugu, with its lethal innards, is considered a winter time delicacy in Japan, with high-end Tokyo restaurants charging customers 22,000 yuens ($198 US) to risk death.

The two people who consumed the fish have not reported any health problems as this time. However, Gamagori city activated an emergency warning to its citizens alerting them through all wireless systems, including community loud speakers, against eating the fugu and recalling the product.

Mizuno told CNN that this particular type of blowfish usually has very weak or no poison, but the food hygiene laws prohibit the sale of any liver given its potentially poisonous implications. The liver should never be eaten because only testing can detect the poison.

Two packs of the recalled fish were located and returned on Monday night after the city's quarantine office was alerted by a consumer who had bought the product and found the liver still inside. The office has since launched an investigation into the supermarket, Mizuno said.

A third pack was later returned accounting for all five packages.

Mizuno added that the supermarket told the quarantine office that their licensed employee who cut the blowfish thought this type of fugu was not poisonous as they had previously sold it with its liver before.

Fugu's popularity in Japan

Fugu meat is sold regularly for sashimi and hot pot ingredients.

Toshiharu Hata, a fugu wholesaler in Japan previously told CNN it is traditionally served as transparent paper-thin strips on porcelain pates.

"Master chefs cut them into the shapes of chrysanthemum petals, Mount Fuji or into animals like peacocks, turtles and butterflies. Every plate is a work of art, every dish is a work of science," Hata said.

According to Western Australia's Department of Fisheries, puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world after the golden poison frog.

To prepare such a high-risk food, chefs must undergo a three-year apprenticeship before being allowed to take the examination, in theory ensuring precise execution and making it safe to eat.

According to the Japanese health ministry, incorrectly prepared fugu has been found to be one of the most frequent causes of food poisoning in the country.

Following Monday's incident, the supermarket will no longer sell blowfish.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 115763

Reported Deaths: 3263
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7973177
DeSoto703979
Harrison522384
Jackson457884
Rankin394086
Madison383194
Lee357380
Forrest304678
Jones292484
Washington258399
Lafayette250443
Lauderdale2478135
Lamar225538
Oktibbeha202454
Bolivar201677
Neshoba1849111
Lowndes179962
Panola170040
Leflore167187
Sunflower162349
Warren154855
Monroe150673
Pontotoc147220
Marshall143129
Lincoln140157
Pike138456
Copiah137536
Scott125429
Coahoma124937
Grenada122638
Yazoo122234
Simpson121549
Union118825
Tate116839
Leake115041
Holmes114760
Itawamba113925
Pearl River113660
Adams108544
Prentiss106120
Wayne101722
Alcorn100112
George99218
Covington97527
Marion95042
Tippah90322
Newton86627
Chickasaw85526
Tallahatchie84526
Winston84121
Hancock84028
Tishomingo81241
Attala79426
Clarke75851
Clay69321
Jasper68717
Walthall63927
Calhoun62612
Noxubee59817
Smith59416
Montgomery54923
Yalobusha54514
Claiborne53716
Tunica53517
Lawrence51814
Perry49423
Carroll49312
Greene47818
Stone47514
Humphreys43816
Amite42513
Quitman4206
Jefferson Davis41011
Webster37613
Benton3416
Wilkinson33820
Kemper32615
Sharkey28514
Jefferson27610
Franklin2423
Choctaw2086
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 158701

Reported Deaths: 2680
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson23292377
Mobile16916315
Tuscaloosa10345140
Montgomery10250197
Madison935096
Shelby739063
Baldwin665869
Lee654665
Calhoun459961
Marshall439550
Etowah428551
Houston417034
Morgan416435
DeKalb342629
Elmore320853
St. Clair295542
Limestone287230
Walker279492
Talladega266435
Cullman248024
Lauderdale229442
Jackson215915
Autauga205931
Franklin205531
Colbert202132
Russell19493
Blount193225
Chilton188432
Dallas186627
Coffee177111
Dale176351
Covington174729
Escambia172730
Clarke135217
Chambers135044
Pike134113
Tallapoosa132987
Marion108129
Barbour10339
Marengo101922
Butler101140
Winston92913
Geneva9067
Lawrence85832
Pickens85218
Bibb84014
Randolph82716
Hale76830
Washington74912
Clay74412
Cherokee73814
Henry7176
Lowndes71328
Bullock64917
Monroe64610
Crenshaw60830
Perry5926
Fayette57713
Cleburne5698
Wilcox56812
Conecuh56113
Macon53620
Lamar4965
Sumter47221
Choctaw39212
Greene34216
Coosa2043
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Overcast
60° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 60°
Columbus
Overcast
64° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 56°
Feels Like: 64°
Oxford
Broken Clouds
55° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Starkville
Overcast
59° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 52°
Feels Like: 59°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather