Pufferfish Poisoning Overview
The poison found in pufferfish, blowfish, balloon fish, toads, sunfish, porcupine fish, toadfish, globefish, and swellfish is a tetrodotoxin. This is one of the most toxic poisons found in nature. Most people who eat pufferfish do so intentionally as pufferfish are considered an Asian delicacy, served in some types of sushi and sashimi. Unless the chef is specially trained to cut the meat in a particular fashion, however, the dish may contain a large amount of the toxin. Pufferfish poisoning is similar to paralytic shellfish poisoning.
Scott H Plantz, MD, FAAEM
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