Fifteen people were rushed to hospitals in Tokyo after choking on traditional New Year’s rice cakes (mochi) on Wednesday and Thursday, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said. One of them, a man in his 80s, later died from consuming this annual treat.
According to the agency, the 15 individuals admitted to hospitals were between the ages of 68 and 96, Fuji TV reported. The man who died went into a state of cardiopulmonary arrest after choking on mochi cooked in a broth of vegetables (ozoni) at his home in Adachi Ward.
Every year, prior to the New Year holidays, the Tokyo Fire Department advises elderly people to cut mochi into bite-size pieces and slowly chew the notoriously sticky food before swallowing. It also advises people to pay attention to infants and seniors when they are eating mochi.
In one famous incident that occurred in 2001, a woman used a vacuum cleaner to suck the mochi out of her 70-year-old father's throat, saving his life.© Japan Today