Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment

Vol 10, Issue 3&4,2012
Online ISSN: 1459-0263
Print ISSN: 1459-0255

Make the deadly yellow puffer fish a safe food to eat


Parvaneh Hajeb 1, Ho Chin Mei 1, Wan Norhana Noordin 2, Nor Ainy Mahyudin 1*

Recieved Date: 2012-07-11, Accepted Date: 2012-09-28


Puffer fish contains tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is fatal to human. Yet, it is consumed as delicacy by several nations because of the tastiness and tenderness of the fish meat. TTX poisoning is often reported due to improper handling and cleaning. Several cases of TTX intoxication and dead have reported from different countries such as USA, Brazil, Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong. However, there is an exception in Betong, Sarawak, Malaysia, where various products and cuisines of yellow puffer fish are processed and prepared by the locals. While this fish is toxic, until today there is no known poisoning case after its consumption in Betong. Here we look into the proper puffer fish preparation method practiced by local experts in Betong to avoid food poisoning. After in-depth interview and observation, it was found that chopping, scissor cutting and traditional methods are the three methods to prepare the fish but basically the concept remained the same. The belly cavity that contains the entrails and viscera must be discarded completely. The cutting process began by making an incision along the length of the belly to end. The bile in the eggs must be thrown thoroughly without leaving traces of it to ensure the eggs are safe to eat. No matter what cooking method was employed, the fish had to be properly and completely cooked. More than nineteen cuisines and products are produced from puffer fish in Betong. Tastiness, seasonal availability, heritage of method of preparation and puffer fish festival had made the yellow puffer fish a specialty and delicacy in Betong. 


Yellow puffer fish, tetrodotoxin, food safety, toxicity prevention, product, cuisines, puffer fish festival, Malaysia, Betong

Journal: Journal of Food, Agriculture and Environment
Year: 2012
Volume: 10
Issue: 3&4
Category: Food and Health
Pages: 72-77

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