Health authorities in Japan were forced to activate the emergency alert system on Monday after a supermarket accidentally sold a fish with one of its most dangerous parts still in the package.
The fugu fish is a delicacy in Japan and other countries but can be lethally poisonous due to its tetrodotoxin. A single fish has enough poison to kill 30 people and the slightest mistake in removing the toxic organ can lead to disaster for those eating the dish.
The fish is so deadly that chefs have to undergo a long training to be allowed to prepare and serve the dish. Even with the training, there have been several incidents in which people have lost their lives or have been poisoned after eating the dish.
Loudspeakers Alert Population
The fish is sold in supermarkets but the emergency alert was activated when it was found that the most dangerous part of the fish, the liver, had been included in the packets that went on sale. The alert asked people not to eat the contents and return the packages to the supermarket.
The fugu fish livers were left in the packets, which were later sold to customers. After being notified about the sale, health officials used the city’s loudspeakers to let the population know that the livers had been sold with the fugu fish. Five packages with the livers were sold to customers.
Reports say the seafood department at the supermarket didn’t know what they were doing and didn’t think it was that serious. A staff member reportedly told authorities that the toxicity of the fish’s liver is not high and he had never thought of it as poisonous.
Four Return The Packages
The emergency alert worked as four of the five customers returned the packages. The fifth buyer contacted health authorities and told them that the fish had been eaten. The good news is that no one got sick. The other four returns had not been eaten by the customers.
Fugu fish deaths are not very common in the country but the liver is the most dangerous part of the fish. Fugu fish livers are actually banned from sale in the country. The supermarket has decided to stop selling the fish after the accidental sale of the dangerous part.