Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fish Horror Tale #4: You've been Fugued

Fugu  is the Japanese word for pufferfish, and it is used in Japaneses cuisine even though it is highly poisonous. Not all pufferfish are poisonous, but apparently the tastiest ones are.   Pufferfish organs, such as the liver, and the skin contains high levels of tetrodotoxin;a nasty chemical that sometimes is colloquially referred to as "zombie powder" by those in the Voodoo world.  Chefs must be careful when cleaning the fish so that they don't rupture the organs and thus contaminate the meat, thus killing their guests.

The poison, a sodium channel blocker, paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays fully conscious along with causing paralysis. The victim is unable to breathe, and eventually dies from asphyxiation. There is no known antidote.

Here is a story from 2007 where people were unknowingly eating fugu when they thought they were eating salmon. Killed 15.,2933,294190,00.html

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