Feeds

Seven Japanese poisoned by blowfish 'nads

Gourmet fugu experience ends in hospital

Business security measures using SSL

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.

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.