By Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
Eating habits in Guangdong Province, China are likely about to change. There, the Indochinese spitting cobra is a prized delicacy. The preparation of the serpent is a time-honored tradition but yesterday something went terribly wrong for Chef Peng Fan of Foshan. Disposing of the head of the snake that had been killed twenty minutes before, Fan was fatally bitten and died before the anti-venom could be administered. Spitting cobra venom contains one of the world’s most powerful neurotoxins that kills within hours of injection by suppressing involuntary muscles which control respiration.
Fan was preparing a special birthday soup and using the poisonous snake’s meat as a base. The snake head was being thrown into a bin of discards when the bite occurred. The strange phenomenon is caused by heat sensitive pits on either side of the snake’s head. These heat-sensitive pits are capable of detecting a threatening presence for hours after death, which means the snake head may reflexively continue to defend itself even after severance from the body.
A police spokesman said: ‘It is a highly unusual case but it appears to be just an accident. The man had a very severe reaction to the bite.
The death is an emotional and financial disaster for Fan’s family. China has an unwieldy worker’s compensation system that can be indefinitely delayed by employers and government bureaucracy. About 80,000 workers per year die in employment-related accidents in China. Safety on the job has not been a priority in China but the government is finally committed to doing something about the problem. The 80,000 figure actually represents an improvement on 2005 figures when over a third more workers died. By contrast the United States suffers only about 4,600 death from work-related accidents per year.
To account for differences in the number of workers in each country, occupational fatalities are typically expressed as deaths per 100,000 workers. According to a WHO report, the US reports 5.3 deaths annually per each 100,000 workers; China comes in at 11.1 fatalities for the same number of workers and timeframe. The actual results for China are likely much higher given the difficulty in obtaining accurate figures from Chinese factories where safety concerns — and reports — are put on the back burner.
Payments to the families of workers killed in occupational accidents is sporadic in China. While Fan’s death is likely compensable, actually receiving payments is far from certain or even uniform. According to the respected China Labour Bulletin, ” local implementing regulations and selective enforcement of certain provisions means that the actual payout varies considerably from region to region. Moreover, disputes between the employer and employee and the local authorities over the level of compensation and who should pay are an increasingly regular occurrence. ”
Like so many strange deaths, the fatality is only the beginning of the tragedy.
Source: Mail Online
~Mark Esposito, Weekend Contributor
By the way and for better or worse, the views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not necessarily those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays of art are solely the author’s decision and responsibility. No infringement of intellectual property rights is intended and will be remedied upon notice from the owner. Fair use is however asserted for such inclusions of quotes, excerpts, photos, art, and the like.
23 thoughts on “Biting The Hand That Cooks You: Severed Cobra Head Bites, Kills Chef”
Cobras.. Bringing gauntlets back into style since Aug 2014..
There once was a blogger named Squeeky
Whose poems some thought to be cheeky.
When asked: “You be a poet?”
She said “Sure, don’t you know it!”
And her poems ’bout snake bites ARE “cheeky!”
You know, as I rake my brain I am thinking it was not Thailand. I will email my old fellow travelers. I am thinking India. We did not eat there for Christ sake.
Any of you readers ever eat at a “monkey table” in Thailand? The table is cut in two and has a hinge on one side and a latch on the opposite side so it can swing open and closed. There is a hole in the middle the size of a monkey’s neck. The customers are seated and out comes the live monkey and it is promptly put into the table and then the concierge lashes into the skull with a huge knife and the brains are there for all to see. And eat.
I have heard of the monkey table. I went to college with a student who had seen this. Pretty inhumane if you asked me.
I guess he wasn’t fanging being dearly Ill at work….
@Max-1 and @Darren
Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it!
Darren, as always, appreciated & thank you.
That was certainly a good one squeeky.
Definitely puts a different spin on “biting the hand that feeds you.”
My diatribe has been smake-bit by wordpress.
Apparently, the heads of rattlers can keep going for hours after being severed. I’ve heard that baby rattlers in particular do not know when to quit biting and will release all of their venum.
Man’s addiction to animal protein has strayed far from nature’s design. With demand for animal protein far exceeding normal supply, humans have taken to eating anything, even snake. By labeling it a delicacy, somehow it overcomes the disgust factor.
Mad Cow Disease is a variation on genetic mutation, nature’s mechanism for deselecting individuals that feast on food not intended for consumption by a species. If you feed high concentrations of animal protein to a cow, everything begins to go wrong. While humans can easily tolerate high concentrations of protein, they cannot tolerate excessive amounts of protein, in which case things begin to go horribly wrong, rapidly, as we see with eskimos consuming nothing but animal protein, most acquiring osteoporosis by the time they are 40 years old, because protein metabolism requires huge amounts of calcium, which the body must leach from the bones in order to avoid protein toxicity. It’s why dogs are not done eating until spending several hours, even days, consuming the entire bone. Protein toxicity negatively impacts every body process and organ, especially the skin, which very rapidly loses its elasticity. Think turkey-neck! Protein toxicity also plays a role in the size of noses and ears, which continue to grow, especially in old age when the body is less able to process protein at all. It doesn’t happen for everyone, only for those who eat excessive amounts of protein. Ethnicity has a lot to do with diet, and by extension, nose and ear size.
Just as you are not going to easily change the political stripes of people, it’s a bigger challenge to rid people of their addictions, which displace all reason. Folks are just more content to rely on facelifts and bandaids from medicine and Big Pharma.
Samantha, I retrieved your comment at 8:26.
If the chef (RIP) is also the owner can he be compensated? Sounds like an occupational hazard.
Snakes: nasty to the bitter end. Seems like severed snake heads could be the topic of a teenage horror movie.
12bee6 – Irish poetry is squeeky’s daytime job.
Yes if China had more ambulance chasers, problem solved. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!
@Squeeky Fromm, Keep you daytime job.
All I can say is Ouch!
OMG, I am sooo sorry Peng Fan died, but I have to do an Irish Poem:
An Irish Poem by Squeeky Fromm
There once was a chef from Foshan,
Who picked up a snake head by hand.
But the cobra still bit,
With its poisonous spit,
And that’s when. . . the spit hit the Fan!
They need some ambulance chasers in China because they may be more stupid than Americans who watch Jerry Springer.
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