Ackee is a fruit native to West Africa which must be allowed to ripen naturally before consumption since it contains deadly poison. Once ripe the fruit will turn red and open up revealing a black seed within, however this must be discarded since it is always poisonous. Before ripening Ackee is a yellow colour and contains toxic levels of hypoglycin A which can cause a very painful death. Due to the dangers Ackee is banned in America, however it is the national fruit of Jamaica and the Ackee industry of Jamaica is valued at $4.5 million dollars.
San-nakji is a variety of hoe made with long arm octopus which is killed and then cut into small pieces and served to restaurant diners. The octopus tentacles continue moving due to their complex nervous system and must be eaten carefully as they are a choking hazard. The octopus have suction cups on their tentacles which can attach to your throat during consumption and cause death via suffocation. Some people consider this cruel since evidence suggests that octopus can feel pain and so San-nakji is banned in many countries for ethical reasons.
Pufferfish are considered a delicacy in Japan, however they must be carefully prepared to remove their toxic parts and avoid contaminating the meat. Pufferfish contain Tetrodotoxin which can easily kill people and because of this chefs must take special training to prepare them for consumption. Obtaining a license to prepare Pufferfish requires two years of intense training followed by a tough test which about 1/3 of applicants fail. From 1996 to 2006 between 34 and 64 people were hospitalised and between 0 and 6 people died after eating Pufferfish which made for a fatality rate of 6.8%.
Hakarl is a national dish of Iceland consisting of a fermented Greenland shark and has been called the “worst tasting food on earth.” Greenland sharks lack a kidney or urinal tract meaning that all the waste and toxic substances filter directly into their skin, the shark must be fermented and hung to dry for six months before it is safe for consumption. Hakarl has a strong ammonia smell and fishy taste which can cause people to gag involuntarily while trying to eat it and it's advisable to pinch your nose while taking the first bite since the smell is far stronger than the taste.