Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blowfish poisoning sends 7 to hospital in Japan

From the AP.

 

Blowfish testicles prepared by an unauthorized chef sickened seven diners in northern Japan and three remained hospitalized Tuesday after eating the poisonous delicacy.

 

The owner of the restaurant in Tsuruoka city, who is also the chef, had no license to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence, police official Yoshihito Iwase said.

 

Shortly after, they developed limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness — typical signs of blowfish poisoning — and were rushed to a hospital for treatment, Iwase said.

 

"It's scary. If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license," Iwase said, using the Japanese term for blowfish.

 

Blowfish poison, called tetrodotoxin, is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide, according to the Ishikawa Health Service Association. It can cause death within an hour and a half after consumption.


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First of all, I don't think I want to be eating testicles from anything. Second, I don't think I want to eat anything that is 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide.  It is amazing that a chef without a Fugu license was serving this. It would make sense that Fugu licenses should be prominently displayed in restaurants authorized to serve this type of fish.

16 comments:

  1. Hope you're enjoying your time in Japan; by the way, winter is the best time for fugu - you should give it a try:-)

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  2. Hm, I have to admit that when I wake up in the morning and cook breakfast, that blowfish testicles are not the first thing that comes to mind.

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  3. I think I will have to pass on the Fugu.

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  4. I want to try it....

    I don't want to try it....

    I want to try it.....

    I don't want to try it...

    I'm so conflicted.

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  5. Just ask to see the chef's fugu license before you eat it.

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  6. I've tried it when luckily someone else was paying. I wouldn't have forked out the money for it otherwise.

    It's actually quite tasteless. I did get a bit of a tingle on the lips. Not something I would bother with again though. It goes in that "Tried it, won't try it again" basked along with raw horsemeat, fried grasshoppers and natto.

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  7. I tired natto also. No more.

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  8. I think if I ever had the nerve and $$$ to try fugu, I'd insist on seeing the chef's license.

    Tried natto, not too crazy about it but bearable. Hubby on the other hand, loves natto. :-)

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  9. I don't even like washing the natto dishes because of the slimyness.

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  10. フグ (Blowfish) is very good...very delicate taste.
    馬肉 (Horsemeat) is very good...very strong taste.
    And 納豆 (Nattou) is very good...especially with キムチ (Kimchee).

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  11. It's a delicacy in Japan. Not all the Japanese want to try it. There must be a license visible in order to serve it. Most accidental poisonings come from people who are not licensed to prepare the fish.

    As far as testicles go, from what I've seen, animal testicles are quite popular when properly prepared. Just cross your legs guys!

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  12. I am surprised that the customers did not look for a posted license.

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  13. I had a blast the time I tried Fugu. For me it was the very fact that it was potentially fatal that made it so fun. The big red telephone, hotline to the hospital, was I am sure mostly marketing to people just like me.

    We had lots of fun telling each other "oh, my god, you're not supposed to eat that part". It tasted good but not sensational.

    Then the bill came.

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  14. It really is the bill that scares me most about fugu.

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  15. I guess that everbody who goes into a fugu establishment should ask themselves that simple Eastwoodian questions: "Do you feel lucky, gourmand? Well, do you?"

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  16. True. I don't know how complicated fugu preparation is but every professional has a bad day. I would not want my fugu chef to be having a bad day.

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