Brazilian Family Eats Deadly Pufferfish For Dinner, 11 Members Paralyzed Are Now Fighting For Life

Puffer-fish has always been regarded as one of the most deadly culinary indulgences. Owing to its highly dangerous neurotoxin, the pufferfish has to be cut and served only by the most skilled chefs. But apparently, a Brazilian family didn’t pay as much attention, and all the members are now fighting for their life.

Eleven members of the same family fell seriously ill late last week after unwittingly cooking up the world’s deadliest fish for their supper, reported Discovery News. The Souza family from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil casually fried and served up a puffer fish they had been given by a friend who had returned from a day’s sea fishing.

However, it is apparent that the family mustn’t have paid much attention to the way the pufferfish must be cut and served. Pufferfish isn’t served in many restaurants owing to its deadly toxin that is 1,200 times more lethal than cyanide. A single drop of the neurotoxin can kill a full-grown adult within 24 hours, but not before causing agonizing seizures and epileptic attacks, followed by paralysis.

No wonder then, mere seconds after taking their first bite, all of the family members began to vomit violently, before losing the feeling in their face, arms, and legs. Most of the victims — which include four children aged 3 to 5 — were totally paralyzed before they could reach a car that would take them to hospital, according to reports.

The family was recommended the deadly pufferfish as a delicacy by Cristiane Souza, whose husband Jose Augusto, 41, had eaten the fish on an earlier occasion and lived to tell the tale, reported News. She said she had called her extended family living nearby for what she thought would be a delicious fish feast on Wednesday evening.

Miraculously, all of the family members have somehow survived the nightmare.

Speaking about the hellish experience, Cristiane said, “The fish looked so tasty so we invited the whole family. We fried it and everyone tucked in. My husband was the first to say he couldn’t feel his tongue, then his face, and then his arms. Then his legs went dead and he couldn’t stand up any more. It was terrifying. My brother-in-law was the same. He didn’t even make it out the door. We had to carry them out and rush them to hospital in a car.”

Only a small portion of the otherwise deadly pufferfish is safe for consumption, and the fish needs to be eaten within a short span of taking it outside the water. It is so deadly and risky to prepare that chefs have to undergo two years of rigorous training and be officially licensed to prepare it.

[Image Credit | Reddit]