A meat delicacy in Japan — raw beef liver — may soon be banned for possible E. coli O157:H7 contamination.
Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare is considering whether it should prohibit butchers and restaurants from selling raw beef liver after discovering the O157 strain of E. coli in the meat long considered a Nippon delicacy.
The O157 strain of E. coli was found in the livers of two of 150 cows that were tested since summer at the country’s meat inspection centers. The O157 bacteria was found on the surface of the livers.
Japan experienced 116 food poisoning cases attributed to eating raw beef livers between 1998 and 2010. Twenty of those were by enterohemorrhagic E. coli bacteria.
Earlier this year, Japan also reported a number of food poisoning cases that were due to E coli O111 contamination.
Japan’s Ministry Council will further discuss the possible ban on sale of raw beef livers during its meeting next Tuesday.