Food Safety Focus (117th Issue, April 2016) – Food Incident Highlight
Puffer Fish Maws Contain Deadly Tetrodotoxin
Last month, the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) called on the public to stop consuming two kinds of prepackaged puffer fish maw as surveillance showed that they contained tetrodotoxin. The CFS has instructed the trade to stop their sale and recall the affected products.
Tetrodotoxin is a potent marine neurotoxin mainly found in the eggs, liver and skin of puffer fish. However, other parts of the fish can also be cross contaminated by the toxin during cleaning and cutting of the fish. Tetrodotoxin can affect a person’s central nervous system, and in extreme cases, death can occur. The toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking and has no antidote. The public should be aware of the risk of eating puffer fish.
The trade should pay particular attention to the import and sale of fish and fish products to ensure they are safe for consumption.