Diner nearly dies from puffer fish dish at two Michelin-starred restaurant
A chef at a two Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo has been suspended after a customer nearly died from eating one of his puffer fish dishes.
The 35-year-old woman, who has now recovered, ate the dish at the Fugu Fukuji eaterie in the upmarket Ginza area, and had to be taken to hospital after developing a headache and numbness in her lips.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government suspended chef Takeshi Yasuge after the incident and, according to the Daily Mail, a public health official said: 'The chef served a liver knowing that it is toxic, even if it was a request from the customer.'
The chef could face a fine or even jail time for the incident, which happened on 10 November.
Chefs go through a three-year training course before becoming qualified to serve a puffer fish (or 'fugu'), and licensed chefs know that the toxic liver and skin must be removed before serving.
But some Japanese people reportedly request for them to be left on, as they add to the expensive delicacy. Several puffer fish fatalities are reported every year, but many are from fishermen who catch their own and attempt to prepare it themselves.
Tokyo is a mecca for diners with a high-class palate, boasting 16 three-star restaurants, six more than Paris and 14 more than London.
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