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Here's why Japan city used loudspeaker to recall deadly fugu blowfish packages

17 January 2018

A Japanese city has broadcast emergency warnings to prevent people consuming blowfish, after potentially deadly portions were mistakenly sold.

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.

Regional health officials on Tuesday said a supermarket in the central city of Gamagori sold five packages of assorted blowfish meat.

While three of the five packages sold have been found, two others have yet to be recovered.

"We are calling for residents to avoid eating fugu, using Gamagōri city's emergency wireless system", local official Koji Takayanagi told AFP. With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters.

"Eating a blowfish liver can paralyse motor nerves, and in a serious case cause respiratory arrest leading to death", regional officials said in a statement.

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Three of these have been located, and no one has yet been harmed, but two remain missing. Tetrodotoxin poison will cause numbness around the mouth, then paralysis and that can lead to a person's death.

There is no antidote to the poison.

Handling fugu fish is highly regulated and requires a license.

"Fugu lovers say that the presence of a small amount of poison, and the tingling sensation which it produces in the lips and gums, enhances the pleasure of eating the fish", says The Times.

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

"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.

Here's why Japan city used loudspeaker to recall deadly fugu blowfish packages