Two Chicagoans have been hospitalized after eating poisonous pufferfish that was imported to the US mislabeled as harmless monkfish. Pufferfish is a delicacy in Japan, but
“Chefs must be licensed and usually undergo at least two years of training on how to safely remove the toxic parts of the fish.
The FDA describes tetrodotoxin as “one of the most violent intoxications from marine species.”
The mislabeled pufferfish was sold to stores and restaurants in Illinois, California and Hawaii. The importer is currently recalling the fish. The boxes in question were labeled “monk fish, gutted and head off, Product of China.” If you’ve purchased monkfish lately and you live in these states, we’d recommend not eating it.
Tetrodotoxin paralyzes the muscles while the victim stays conscious, eventually suffocating to death. There is no antidote. According to wikipedia, each fish has enough poison to kill 30 adults. —MEGHANN MARCO