Japanese city issues fugu fish alert

A package containing a piece of pufferfish liver top right was sold at a supermarket in Gamagori Aichi Prefecture

But the fish's skins, intestines, ovaries and livers contain a poison called tetrodotoxin that can be fatal.

A warning has been issued in a Japanese city through emergency loudspeaker system to alert residents against consuming the blowfish or puffer fish after potentially poisonous parts were mistakenly sold.

At least five packages with the life-threatening fish were sold in the city of Gamagori, central Japan, local media report. The blowfish is a renowned delicacy in Japan but their livers contain deadly toxins that must be removed before sale by highly specialised chefs.

No health problems have been reported from past consumption of the liver sold at the store, he said.

The city's loudspeaker system broadcast warnings to the city's residents, asking them to avoid eating fugu and to help them track down the remaining packages.

JAPANESE authorities are on the hunt for a batch of deadly fish after toxic parts of the sea creature were accidentally put on sale. The liver should never be eaten because only testing can detect the poison. Two packages have since been returned.

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Pufferfish such as fugu are considered winter delicacies and often served by restaurants as sashimi or in a hotpot.

According to Western Australia's Department of Fisheries, puffer fish are the second most poisonous vertebrate in the world after the golden poison frog.

In December past year it was revealed that more than 50,000 non-toxic fugu had been raised by a Japanese aquaculture company to help eliminate the dangers of preparing and eating the fish.

To prepare such a high-risk food, chefs must undergo a three-year apprenticeship before being allowed to take the examination, in theory ensuring precise execution and making it safe to eat.

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

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