CHEFS IN TOKYO are furious at new laws that will relax the high-restricted preparation and sale of blowfish – or pufferfish – in the city.
Japanese fugu is a well-known delicacy made from blowfish (if you’ve forgotten, this might jog your memory) which can fetch prices upwards of €300 a dish. However, the flesh also contains the highly toxic substance tetrodotoxin – a fatal poison with no known antidote.
For the past sixty years, the sale of fugu in Tokyo has been tightly controlled and only chefs who have undergone intense training are given a license.
However, outside of the capital, regulations around the sale of fugu is much more relaxed, Reuters reports.
Although the number of deaths from eating the fish have decreased in recent years, there are still several fatal incidents reported annually involving people preparing fugu at home, reports the Japan Times.
Last November, a woman was also rushed to hospital when her lips turned numb after eating a slice of the fish at a Michelin-starred Tokyo fugu restaurant. Notably, the woman had eaten a slice of liver, which is among the most poisonous parts of the fish and is illegal to serve.
But officials don’t seem concerned about the potential for increased fatalities: