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Diners suffer food poisoning from tropical fish in Manchester restaurant

25 November 2008 by

Diners suffer food poisoning from tropical fish in Manchester restaurant

A restaurant in Greater Manchester has been forced to take a tropical fish off its menu after three diners suffered food poisoning.

Francs in Altrincham served Mahi Mahi fish, which is also known as dolphin fish.

Proprietor Nicholas Banks believed that he had followed correct food hygiene procedures but, after three customers fell ill, experts found the fish contained traces of a toxin.

The restaurant was fined £2,265 and ordered to pay costs amounting to £2,500 at Trafford Magistrates Court after Banks admitted breaching food hygiene laws.

However, Banks later blamed the methods used by fishermen to catch the Mahi Mahi in tropical seas for the toxins found in the fish.

"Mahi Mahi is caught on 60-mile lines with 3,000 hooks so the first ones caught can be dead for up to 24 hours before they are sold," he told the Manchester Evening News.

"People in my profession should know there's no way of telling whether the fish contain these toxins. You can't smell it and it doesn't matter how well you cook it."

Banks added: "I pleaded guilty because the fine was much less than my costs would have been for fighting this."

The Mahi Mahi fish, which is native to the waters around Hawaii and whose name means "strong strong", is described as having a flaky texture and sweet taste.

It is sourced from the Indian Ocean and, due to its healthy stocks and short-lived nature, is thought to be a good sustainable option.

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By Kerstin Kühn

E-mail your comments to Kerstin Kühn here.

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