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Japan city uses loudspeakers to recall potentially deadly fugu fish

Blowfish, known as fugu, is an expensive winter delicacy in Japan but requires a license to prepare because its liver is mostly toxic and must be removed.
Image: Fugu
A pufferfish, known as fugu in Japan, on a chopping board to remove toxic internal organs at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo.Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP/Getty Images file

A Japanese city used its emergency loudspeaker system in an attempt to recall four packages of blowfish meat after discovering a fifth one contained the potentially deadly liver.

The fish, known as fugu, is an expensive winter delicacy but requires a license to prepare because of the dangers of mishandling. Its liver is mostly toxic and is banned from sale.

Regional health officials on Tuesday said a supermarket in the central city of Gamagori sold five packages of assorted blowfish meat. The inclusion of the liver in the package could have contaminated the other meat with the poison, although nobody has died since the mistake.

A fugu fish on a chopping board for the removal of toxic internal organs.Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP/Getty Images file

The alarm was raised Monday when a buyer of one package took it to a health center. With four other packages sold but unaccounted for, city officials alerted residents via the emergency loudspeakers normally used for earthquakes and other disasters. Two packages have since been returned.

The health ministry ordered the store to recall all the blowfish packages and suspend their sale, but the store told officials that it will no longer sell blowfish, Ohashi said.