Food Two ill in the US from mislabeled poisonous puffer fish


tPF Bish
Jul 7, 2006
Two ill in the US from mislabeled poisonous puffer fish

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Frozen fish sold as monkfish in US markets could actually be deadly poisonous puffer fish, the US Food and Drug Administration warned Friday.
The FDA said two people who ate a soup with fish imported by the Santa Fe, California company Hong Chang Corp and labeled as monkfish were hospitalized, one with "severe illness" due to the presence of mortally dangerous levels of tetrodotoxin -- the poison found in puffer fish.
The US food regulator said that Hong Chang distributed 282 22-pound (10 kilogram) boxes labeled as monkfish to wholesalers in California, Illinois and Hawaii beginning in September 2006.
One box label read: "frozen monkfish gutted and head-off" and "product of China."
The boxes were then distributed to both restaurants and stores. At least in one case, though, a retailer put on the label "bok," the Korean word for puffer fish, said the FDA in a statement.
"Consumers concerned that they may have purchased this fish should contact their retailer and ask if the product was received from Hong Chang Corp," the FDA said.
"The product should not be eaten, it should be thrown away. Care should be exercised in handling the fish, as the tetrodotoxin may be present on the skin and flesh of the fish. Consumers should wash hands thoroughly after handling the fish."
Puffer fish is valued as a delicacy known as fugu in Japan, where chefs are specially trained to prepare it so it does not endanger the diner.
Tetrodotoxin is a neurotoxin which paralyzes a person's muscles, and for which there is no antidote.
Feb 13, 2007
Whoa....this is scary. I will order monkfish in a good restaurant, but I would certainly never order if I thought it was possibly PUFFERFISH!


Jan 27, 2006
That's really scary! I've seen it in films where people take a chance on eating puffer fish as a gamble, but imagine eating it and not actually knowing that you did at the time?

If I wasn't Veggie, I still wouldn't fancy my chances with a puffer fish, even if it was specially prepared by a top Japaneese chef. Theres enough things to eat in this world without me wanting to try something deadly.


loving H...
Jun 29, 2006
omg...i always try to buy fresh whole fish whenever possible so that i know what i'm getting. but still this case is shocking! i hope there are no other victims.