Restaurateur Ismail Ertekin has been ordered by Swiss health officials to stop selling pizzas topped with venom from spiders, scorpions, and snakes.

The eccentric chef made headlines a few months ago when he began promoting a pizza pie topped with edible 24 carat gold.

But his latest gimmicky special, which featured small amounts of venom extracted from homeopathic remedies, ran afoul of the health department, which requested that he take the item off the menu.

Ertekin, who owns the Zurich-based restaurant Avanti, took issue with the ban, claiming food preservatives were "more damaging" than his poison pizzas. "They were really popular, especially with people who have a phobia of spiders or snakes," Ertekin said. "They used the pizza as a way to get over their fears."

An Environmental Health Officer explained that Ertekin crossed a line when he added "medicinal products" to his food.

[photo via Shutterstock]