Beware the monkfish! | Food News | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published May 25, 2007 at 10:36 a.m.

Remember the Simpson's episode -- One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish from season 2 -- in which Homer chowed down on a piece of poisonous sashimi and was later told he had only 24 hours to live? Something similar recently happened to a couple of people in Chicago. Except that unlike Homer, they consumed the seafood in a soup. And they had no idea what they were eating.

It's the most recent in a string of discomforting news about food -- including the infamous wheat gluten used in pet food -- imported from China. It seems that a few boxes labeled "monkfish" may actually have contained some type of poisonous "pufferfish" instead.

The FDA has confirmed that the fish contained tetrodotoxin, the substance that makes creatures in the Tetraodontidae family (yep, like pufferfish) dangerous to humans. The affected seafood was sold in Chicago, Illinois and Hawaii, so we're probably safe up here in the Northeast.  But if for some reason you find a box of fish in your fridge that reads, "“MONK FISH GUTTED AND HEAD-OFF PRODUCT OF CHINA." and “Ingredients: Monk fish; Imported by: Hong Chang Corp., Santa FeSprings, CA 90670; Product of China (P.R.C.),” don't eat it!

The MSNBC article is called "Two Sick in Suspected Pufferfish Poisoning."