Now, this is a tort that can only be found in Japan. Yes (if you are wondering) there appears to be “good” and “bad’ blowfish testicles. Seven people have been hospitalized after eating the testicles prepared in the Japanese city of Tsuruoka by an unlicensed Fugu chef.
A chef needs a license to serve blowfish in Japan, which contains tetrodotoxin — a toxin 100 times more poisonous than potassium cyanide. He is being investigation for professional negligence. In the United States, it would be considered negligence per se in light of the prohibition. It is not a matter of assumption of the risk for the customers, since a chef with fugu license can prepare the meal safely (though in 1977 three people died from the dish).
In case you are unsure about whether you have eaten bad blowfish testicles, here are the symptoms of fugu poisoning:
The most common symptoms of fugu poisioning are tingling and burning of the mouth and tongue, numbness, drowsiness, and incoherent speech. These symptoms usually occur 30 minutes to two hours after ingestion of the fish, depending on the amount of toxin ingested. In severe cases, ataxia (the inability to coordinate the movements of muscles), muscle weakness, hypotension (low blood pressure) and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat) may develop, followed by muscle twitching and respiratory paralysis, and death can occur. In several cases, people died within 17 minutes after eating pufferfish.
For the full story, click here.