In Europe, fugu is completely banned in all countries of the EU and that should underline just why this fish is considered one of the most dangerous fish to placed on the dining table.
Fugu is by far the most dangerous fish on the dinning table but it continues to enjoy the number one position as a fish delicacy among certain fish eaters around the world. In Japan for example, Fugu is so liked that some people eat it raw, while some others enjoy it grilled.
Characteristics of Fugu
Typical Fugu are generally puffer fish that are easily distinguishable by their prickly skin, which is yellow-brown and green with a yellowish stripe running from the mouth to the tail. As soon as you see these features, just know you are face to face with a living toxin.
Where the danger of Fugu fish lies
The real danger of fugu lies in its internal organs. The liver especially is so toxic that if fugu is not filleted and you accidentally get the toxic contents to glaze your lips or tongue, you will suffer instant paralysis. From that point on, the paralysis will rapidly spread to the rest of the body and the person will eventually die within less than 12 hours of asphyxiation an the worst bit is that there are no known antidotes for the fugu toxin called etrodotoxin.
Regulations on Fugu
Inspite of the known dangers of Fugu, people still love this fish and many actually want it on their dinning tables as often as possible. Where it is allowed on the table in places like Japan, those chefs that prepare it go for a two year rigorous training and they must pass both written and practical preparatory tests before they are allowed to cook fugu for the public. They use special knives that are strictly used for fugu preparation and not any other food preparation.
There is a legal ban on selling whole Fugu to the public and this is intended to protect the lives of the public from the dangerous etrodotoxin that could contaminate the entire fugu meat and cause death. In the last 10 years, 23 people have died as a result of fugu poisoning in Japan and many of the dead die from eating raw fugu.
In Europe, fugu is completely banned in all countries of the EU and that should underline just why this fish is considered one of the most dangerous fish to be placed on the dining table.