Puffer fish may contain a potent and deadly toxin called tetrodotoxin. In puffer fish, the toxin is mainly found in the eggs, liver and skin. The puffer fish must be cleaned and prepared properly so that the organs containing the toxins are carefully removed and do not cross-contaminate the flesh of the fish. The toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking, drying or freezing. The toxin can affect a person's central nervous system, and in extreme cases, can cause death. There is no antidote.
Other fish species, e.g. porcupine fish, and other marine species may also cause tetrodotoxin poisoning. For more information about tetrodotoxin poisoning, please click here.
Advice to Consumers
- Avoid purchasing, and dressing puffer fish, porcupine fish or unknown fish for consumption on your own.
- Avoidance of puffer fish consumption is the best way to prevent puffer fish poisoning.
Advice to Trade
In Hong Kong , all food available for sale on the market must be fit for human consumption and the trade should pay particular attention to the import and sale of fish and fish products to ensure they are safe for consumption.