The owners of a fish processing factory in Samut Sakhon are in deep water after inspections turned up traces of poisonous pufferfish in their fishballs.
Flesh from the toxic puffers – which live in the tropical waters around Thailand – was also found in the plant’s “Smiling Fish” brand fish strings.
We guess the owners of the plant – in Tha Cheen Subdistrict of the coastal province – aren’t smiling anymore.
Phiphat Yingseree, secretary-general of Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, said inspectors’ suspicions were aroused when they noticed some of the factory’s products hadn’t been labelled properly.
Products including “Smiling Fish” fish strings, “Hong Thong” fish balls and fish strings and “Strong Boy” fishballs had no date of manufacture or use-by dates.
When inspectors tested their composition, they found traces of L.spadiceus and L.lunaris pufferfish in them – as well as tetrotodoxin, a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote.
Fortunately, the amount of poison was nowhere near fatal levels.
The plant owners will be charged with manufacturing food for distribution with incorrect labeling, punishable by a maximum fine of THB30,000, and manufacturing food for distribution containing pufferfish, which carries a sentence of six months to two years and a fine of THB5,000 – THB20,000.