Last Chance to Eat Raw Beef Liver in Japan
Come July 1st, it will be illegal to serve raw beef liver at restaurants in Japan:
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli O-157 and Campylobacter bacteria, both of which can cause severe stomachache, have been detected in raw beef liver. A research report said it is difficult to remove or kill the bacteria through screening tests or disinfection, and that liver can only be guaranteed safe to consume if it has been cooked.
Operators of barbecue restaurants and other establishments that ignore the ban on raw beef liver could be sentenced to up to two years in prison or fined up to 2 million yen.
As this Japanese TV news report shows, many people are rushing to yakiniku restaurants to enjoy their last chance at eating this potentially dangerous dish:
One company that sells liver-flavored konnyaku is marketing its product as an alternative to the real thing and has seen its sales skyrocket. The reporter says it feels similar to eating actual raw liver.