Published August 23, 2007
BANGKOK, Thailand – In Thailand, it's a fish dish that kills.
A doctor says unscrupulous vendors have been selling meat from the highly poisonous puffer fish disguised as salmon. That's resulted in the deaths of more than 15 people over the past three years. Some 115 people have been hospitalized.
Although it was banned in Thailand five years ago, puffer fish continues to be sold in large quantities at local markets and restaurants.
The ovaries, liver and intestines of the puffer fish contain a poison so potent that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it can "produce rapid and violent death."
In Japan, the fish is called fugu (foo-goo) and is prepared by highly trained chefs and consumed by thrill-seeking Japanese gourmets.
Every year, there are reports of people dying or falling sick in Asia from eating puffer fish.