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Johor Couple’s Pufferfish Purchase Via Facebook Takes Deadly Turn

Johor Couple’s Pufferfish Purchase Via Facebook Takes Deadly Turn

The elderly couple bought the pufferfish through social media and prepared it for lunch.

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An elderly couple ate fish for lunch, but the meal ended up costing the life of a woman and left a man fighting for his life in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The couple from Jalan Sin Tiam, Chamek, had pre-ordered the pufferfish via Facebook and received the item on Saturday morning. It’s believed that it’s the couple’s first time eating pufferfish.

The 83-year-old woman and her 84-year-old husband allegedly cleaned and cooked the pufferfish for lunch. She started experiencing breathing difficulties and shivering around 3pm.

Her husband displayed the same symptoms an hour later.

Their son who lives nearby rushed them to Hospital Enche’ Hajjah Kalsom’s emergency unit around 5pm.

Sadly, the woman died around 7pm the same day. Her husband is still receiving treatment in the ICU.

The cause of death was identified as food poisoning with neurological manifestation resulting in respiratory failure and irregular heart rate, The Star reported.

According to Malay Mail, the fish is traced to a fisherman from Endau, Mersing, who sold it to a distributor in Batu Pahat for processing.

Johor health and unity committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the online seller, who’s also from Batu Pahat, sold 15kg of pufferfish to four customers in Chamek, Paloh, and one in Yong Peng.

Luckily, the other customers have yet to consume the fish and they have been seized by the Health Department in Kluang and Batu Pahat.

Preparing to serve puffer fish requires training

Pufferfish is one of the most poisonous seafood in the world. The fish contains the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin and there’s no known antidote.

The pufferfish is a popular delicacy in Japan where it’s called fugu. Due to the fish’s poison, only chefs with extensive training in Japan are qualified to serve it.

According to Nikkei Asia, the length of training differs from region to region so the cooking license is valid only in the designated district.

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