A Brazilian family of 11 is now in critical condition after mistakenly eating the most poisonous fish in the world, falling violently ill just seconds after taking a bite.
The Souza family from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil obtained the fish from a friend who had gone fishing that day. Excited for a freshly caught feast, she called over her nearby family members for a family dinner. Cristiane Souza, who prepared the meal, told Brazil’s RJ TV:
“The fish looked so tasty so we invited the whole family. We fried it and everyone tucked in.”
“My husband was the first to say he couldn’t feel his tongue, then his face, and then his arms. Then his legs went dead and he couldn’t stand up any more. It was terrifying.”
In seconds, her family members were vomiting and losing feeling in their face, arms and legs.
“My brother-in-law was the same. He didn’t even make it out the door. We had to carry them out and rush them to hospital in a car.”
In Japan, the pufferfish, known as the Fugu fish, is considered a delicacy and typically served as sashimi or chirinabe, but the sale of fugu fish is strictly controlled by the Japanese government. Only a licensed sushi chef can detoxify and serve fugu fish, which takes at least three years of specialized training.
What makes the fugu fish so deadly is the tetrodotoxin, a powerful neurotoxin, that naturally occurs in its liver and sometimes the skin. Fugu poison is 1200 times more powerful than cyanide, making this fish one of the most poisonous vertebrates in the world. Another family member reported:
“We had no idea it was a pufferfish. They’re all in a critical condition. My grandson, my daughter, and my son-in-law, they are all in hospital. We’re praying for a miracle.”
“We put the fish on the table in the yard outside and everyone dived in. They were all saying how delicious it was. I didn’t eat it because I was waiting until everyone had tried it.”
So, who’s down to try some fugu fish sashimi?