Battlepanda: One fish, two fish, monkfish, bluefish


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

One fish, two fish, monkfish, bluefish

Litbrit, blogging chez Ezra's, have been all over the issue of unsafe food imports from China. The latest fiasco would be funny if it were not so...potentially deadly.
WASHINGTON -- A frozen product labeled monkfish distributed in three states is being recalled after two Chicago area people became ill after eating it, the importer announced Thursday.

Hong Chang Corporation of Santa Fe Springs, Calif., said it is recalling the product labeled as monkfish because it may contain tetrodotoxin, a potent toxin.

While the frozen fish imported from China was labeled monkfish, the company said it is concerned that it may be pufferfish because this toxin is usually associated with certain types of pufferfish.

Eating foods containing tetrodotoxin can result in life-threatening illness or death and the toxin cannot be destroyed by cooking or freezing.

The company said two people in the Chicago area became ill after eating soup containing the fish. Analysis by the Food and Drug Administration confirmed the presence of the toxin.
What really disturbs me about the recent spate of unsafe foods from China is the horrible disproportionality of value gained (slightly cheaper prices for consumer, the thin sliver of value for producers) and the horrible downside. It would be one thing to risk death by fugu in a fancy Japanese restaurant where the risk is low and the pleasure it (presumably) high. It is another to do so while just making some soup.