Top Tokyo eatery in poisoning trouble
Tokyo - A Michelin two-star restaurant in Tokyo was facing a criminal complaint on Friday over the hospitalisation of a diner who was served the toxic liver of a pufferfish, a Japanese health official said.
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has revoked the special licence required to serve pufferfish - fugu - for chef Takeshi Yasuge, who operates Fugu Fukuji in the capital's upmarket Ginza area.
The action came after a 35-year-old woman had to be taken to hospital suffering from a headache and numbness in her lips after eating the liver of the fish at the restaurant on November 10.
"The chef served a liver, knowing that it is toxic, even if it was a request from the customer. It should warrant punitive actions," said a public health official.
The chef may face fines, and possible jail time.
Fugu is a seasonal delicacy and commands high prices, but must be processed by specially trained and licensed chefs who are required to cut out toxic parts, including the liver and skin.
However, some aficionados ask to be served the banned parts, which are said to be a fine but dangerous delicacy.
Michelin said it does not plan to change its rating of the restaurant, which was based on the dishes its agents ate, a company spokesperson said.
Michelin this week released its latest Red Guide to the Tokyo area, which listed 247 establishments with at least one star.
The Japanese capital boasts 16 three-star eateries, six more than Paris.