Japan E. coli O111 outbreak claims fourth victim, 70 ill

Jiji Press reported this morning that a woman died Thursday of food poisoning from E. coli O111 in central Japan, bringing the total number of deaths linked to a raw meat dish served at a restaurant chain to four, while 70 others have fallen ill.

She went to a restaurant in Tonami, Toyama prefecture, with her family, including another woman who died Wednesday. The two had eaten yukhoe, a dish similar to tartare, served at the eatery run by Foods Forus Co, based in nearby Kanazawa.

A 6-year-old boy also fell ill and died Friday after eating the dish at the same restaurant.

Another boy died a week ago in nearby Fukui prefecture after eating the same dish at another of the company’s restaurants.

Jiji reported that 70 other people were suspected to be suffering from food poisoning after eating at the company’s restaurants. One of them, confirmed to be infected with the E coli O111 strain, is in critical condition.