Feeds

Seven Japanese poisoned by blowfish 'nads

Gourmet fugu experience ends in hospital

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Seven Japanese gourmets in the northern city of Tsuruoka required hospital treatment after ill-advisedly ordering grilled blowfish testicles at a restaurant not licensed to serve potentially-fatal fugu, as the piscine delicacy is known locally.

Police official Yoshihito Iwase explained to AP that the men tucked into said 'nads and sashimi (sliced raw seafood) and quickly developed "limb paralysis and breathing trouble and started to lose consciousness". Cue medical intervention, and three of the customers were today still hospitalised - one 68-year-old in a critical condition with respiratory failure and two others aged 55 and 69 described as "serious".

The unnamed restaurant's owner, who was also the chef, had "no license to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence", Iwase said.

He added: "It's scary. If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license."

Blowfish, aka pufferfish, of the order Tetraodontiformes, commonly contain high levels of the toxin tetrodotoxin* in their gonads, intestines, liver, and skin, although the flesh is often relatively safe. The poison, known to its chums as anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin, initially provokes "a slight numbness of the lips and tongue" followed by increasing paralysis, possible convulsions and cardiac arrhythmia and death usually within 4-6 hours, as the US Food and Drug Administration delightfully explains.

Accordingly, extreme care must be taken in preparing the fish for human consumption, ensuring that the unpalatable organs are removed. However, despite Japan's blowfish licensing regime, three people died and 44 others fell ill from blowfish poisoning in 2007, according to the Health Ministry. ®

Bootnote

*The FDA elaborates that tetrodotoxin is also found in "the California newt, parrotfish, frogs of the genus Atelopus, the blue-ringed octopus, starfish, angelfish, and xanthid crabs". The agency notes "at least one report of a fatal episode when an individual swallowed a California newt", but does not elaborate on how this unfortunate incident occurred.

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Rosetta science team thinks Philae might come to life in the spring
And disclose the biggest surprise of Comet 67P
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
The total economic impact of Druva inSync
Examining the ROI enterprises may realize by implementing inSync, as they look to improve backup and recovery of endpoint data in a cost-effective manner.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.