Food poisoning due to ingestion of an unknown red grouper occurred in southern Taiwan. To identify the species of toxic red grouper implicated in food poisoning, a 475-bp sequence of the cytochrome b gene from six species of fresh red grouper meat was amplified by using a pair of primers (L14735/H15149). This fragment could be amplified when fish meat was treated with different heating processes. After sequencing, it was found that no variation in sequences was detected among individuals within each species. The species of toxic red grouper meat implicated in food poisoning was judged to be Lutjanus bohar based on sequence analysis. In addition, restriction enzyme analysis with HaeIII rapidly distinguished these six species of red grouper and the two samples implicated in food poisoning. No toxicity of viscera in 18 specimens of six red grouper species was detected, but two food poisoning samples were found to be toxic. This study indicated that DNA sequence and restriction enzyme analysis are powerful methods for identifying potentially toxic red grouper species as L. bohar.