Japanese City Issues Emergency Fugu Warning

Supermarket accidentally sold deadly liver
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2018 3:19 AM CST
Japanese City Issues Emergency Fugu Warning
Fugu for sale at a market in Osaka.   (Pangamunt/Wikipedia)

A Japanese city activated its emergency broadcast system Monday not for a missile alert, but for a warning about the country's deadliest delicacy. Emergency system loudspeakers in Gamagori, central Japan, warned residents that a supermarket had sold packages of fugu without removing the liver, one of the deadliest parts of the notorious fish, SBS reports. The livers, ovaries, and skin of the fugu, or blowfish, contain tetrodotoxin, a nerve poison that authorities say can cause a "rapid and violent" death after a single bite, reports the BBC. Incorrectly prepared fugu kills several people in Japan every year.

Regional heath officials say the supermarket sold five packages of assorted fugu meat, all of which could have been contaminated by the liver, the AP reports. Asahi Shimbun reports that after the emergency broadcast, which urged citizens who had bought the packages to return them to the Super Tatsuya supermarket, all five packages were accounted for. Four were returned unopened and the supermarket president says it was contacted by a fifth person who had consumed the fugu but had suffered no ill effects. "I'm very sorry," says the supermarket president, who has promised not to sell fugu again. (In a previous incident, seven people were sickened when an unauthorized chef served fugu testicles.)

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