Contaminated pickles kill seven in Japan

August 19, 2012

Seven people, most of them elderly women, died after eating pickles contaminated with E. coli in northern Japan, officials said Sunday, in the country's deadliest mass food poisoning in 10 years.

A total of 103 others have been made ill after eating the same lightly pickled Chinese cabbage produced in late July by a company in the city of Sapporo, according to health bulletins issued by the local government.

Of the dead, six were elderly women who ate the pickles at nursing homes in Sapporo and in another city on Hokkaido island. A four-year-old girl died on August 11 in Sapporo.

In the city of Ebetsu, a woman centenarian died early Sunday from multiple-organ failure, nine days after she was hospitalised, a Hokkaido regional health official said.

"She ate the pickles served at breakfast at her nursing home on August 1," the official, Narihiko Kawamura, told AFP by telephone.

The Sapporo girl died five days after developing symptoms of E. coli poisoning, according to an official at the city's public health centre.

"She and her family used to eat the company's cabbage pickles, which they often bought at a local supermarket. But it is not certain when she ate the contaminated product," the official, Seiichi Miyahara, said by telephone.

Two other women in their 90s died on Thursday in Ebetsu after eating the pickles at nursing homes.

"It is not easy to determine how the bacteria were mixed with the pickles," Miyahara said. "We don't know yet whether there was any major problem in sanitary control at the company."

In 2002, nine people died from E. coli bacteria poisoning after eating a marinated chicken and vegetable dish at a hospital and its annex, a nursing home for the aged, in the provincial city of Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo.

Explore further: German salad warning after food poisoning deaths

Related Stories

German salad warning after food poisoning deaths

May 26, 2011

Germany has warned consumers to be especially careful when eating tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers which are believed to be responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning that has left three dead.

E. coli outbreak spreading in Germany

May 27, 2011

More than 270 people in Germany have fallen seriously ill because of potentially deadly bacteria, which has been found in imported Spanish cucumbers, officials said Friday.

German probe fixes on restaurant's food chain

June 5, 2011

Investigators searching for the origin of a killer bacteria were attempting to track supplies made to a north German restaurant where 17 guests fell ill, the press reported here Sunday.

Short, sharp shock treatment for E. coli

January 11, 2012

A short burst of low voltage alternating current can effectively eradicate E. coli bacteria growing on the surface of even heavily contaminated beef, according to a study published in the International Journal of Food Safety, ...

Recommended for you

New drug to fight fatal but neglected tropical disease

August 31, 2016

In a breakthrough for those infected by the parasites that cause sleeping sickness, a young Queensland researcher has identified a compound that kills the parasites in the lab without having any toxic effect on human cells.

Traces of Ebola virus linger longer than expected in semen

August 31, 2016

Initial data from a Liberian public health program show about 9 percent (38) of 429 male Ebola survivors had fragments of Ebola virus in their semen. Of those, 63 percent had semen samples that tested positive for Ebola fragments ...

Researchers discover a drug for a tropical disease

August 30, 2016

Researchers at the University of Georgia are working to find the fastest way possible to treat and cure human African trypanosomiasis, long referred to as sleeping sickness. By working to improve chemical entities already ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.