The Health Ministry prohibits the sale of puffer fishNILAM NUR ATIKAH OSHMAN
SHAH ALAM - The Health Ministry prohibits the sale of puffer fish for dining purposes as the fish contains dangerous toxins.
Its director general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this was because a total of 58 cases of puffer fish poisoning had been reported resulting in 18 deaths since 1985 until March this year.
He said Section 13 of the Food Act 1983 clearly states the prohibition in selling any food that contains any poisonous, dangerous substance that are harmful to health.
"This amendment has been discontinued considering the control of puffer fish sale is now under the Malaysian Fisheries Development Authority Act 1972.
The Health Ministry's Food Safety and Quality Division has prepared educational materials in its effort to increase the public's awareness about the harmful toxins in puffer fish.
"The Ministry will continue to educate the public about food safety, including the dangers of eating puffer fish," he said in a statement on Facebook.
Dr Noor Hisham added that a survey conducted by the division shows that 86 per cent of respondents consisted of the public, fish sellers, fishermen and cooks that had sufficient knowledge about the danger of consuming puffer fish.
On Tuesday, Sinar reported a woman died while her husband was treated at the intensive care unit (ICU) in Enche' Besar Hajjah Kalsom Hospital after eating a pufferfish meal last Saturday.
State Health and Unity Exco Ling Tian Soon said prior to her death, the woman had experienced shortness of breath and shivering at 3pm.