Blowfish Testicles Poison 7 Diners in Japan

Chef served dangerous dish without license, cops say
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 27, 2009 4:39 PM CST
Blowfish Testicles Poison 7 Diners in Japan
A blowfish.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – World travelers, take note. Blowfish testicles prepared by an unauthorized chef have sickened seven diners in northern Japan, three of whom remain hospitalized. The owner of the Tsuruoka restaurant had no license to serve blowfish and was being questioned on suspicion of professional negligence. Blowfish poison, called tetrodotoxin, is nearly 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide. It can kill in 90 minutes.

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The seven men ordered sashimi and grilled blowfish testicles at the restaurant last night. Shortly after, they developed limb paralysis, breathing trouble, and started to lose consciousness—typical signs of blowfish poisoning—and were taken to a hospital. "It's scary," the official said. "If you go to a decent-looking restaurant that serves fugu, you would assume a cook has a proper fugu license."
  (Read more Japan stories.)

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