Japan city uses emergency system to recall blowfish packages

A Japanese city used its emergency loudspeaker system in an attempt to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver.

The regional health ministry office said Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, a supermarket in Gamagori City, Aichi prefecture, sold five packages of assorted fugu meat containing liver, which is toxic and banned.

The fish's skin, intestines, ovaries and livers all contain poison that can kill people if the seafood isn't prepared properly, according to Japan Times.

That warning had been partially successful, Takayanagi said: "Three packages will be retrieved today, but we still don't know where the remaining two are".

Local officials have warned the population not to eat blowfish until the missing portions are recovered.

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

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A recorded message plays from loudspeakers around the city tells residents not to consume the fish.

Fugu is one of Japan's most expensive delicacies, despite almost a dozen people having suffered agonizing deaths from its toxic parts over the past decade. There is no known antidote to the poison.

However, the meat requires careful preparation to remove toxic parts of the fish, such as the liver.

Data from Japan shows several deaths most years as a result of fugu poisoning, with dozens of other diners treated for non-fatal symptoms.

"It's a very tasty fish, but that's not the only reason people choose to go to a fugu restaurant", said Shinichi Ueshima, a chef at the Dote restaurant in Yokohama.

Chefs in Japan require years of training and a special licence if they plan to prepare & serve fugu.

  • Ismael Montgomery