Blowfish alert: Japan officials seek possible poison package

Blowfish alert: Japan officials seek possible poison package

Blowfish alert: Japan officials seek possible poison package

A Japanese city has asked its residents to be vigilant as a deadly portion of blowfish was in circulation.

The five packets of fugu that triggered the alarm in Gamagori were sold with their livers still in place, Agence France-Presse reports.

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. With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters.

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

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

Five packages with the fish's liver, which contains the potentially lethal poison tetrodotoxin, still attached were sold at the supermarket. Tetrodotoxin poison will cause numbness around the mouth, then paralysis and that can lead to a person's death.

"Eating a blowfish liver can paralyse motor nerves, and in a serious case cause respiratory arrest leading to death", regional officials said in a statement.

However, the meat requires careful preparation to remove toxic parts of the fish, such as the liver. They even have to undergo training to obtain the license. One fugu could kill up to 30 people and there is no known antidote. But people in Japan have eaten this fish for centuries now. Chefs also need a special permit to prepare and serve the fish at restaurants. "But we've continued to eat it, because the Japanese people savour the real taste of fugu".

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