Nine people choke to death eating rice cakes in Japan
Mochi– gummy cakes made from pounded rice- are traditionally consumed in huge quantities during the holidays, normally in soup, or even rousted and then served together with sweet soy pulp as well as draped in dried seaweed.
A number of people die while consuming the starchy delicacy each and every January, although this particular year the figure is predominantly high.
Reports have been made by the local media that nine people had succumbed to death during the holidays, whilst 13 more were hospitalized with serious conditions.
The past year had at least 4 deaths, in contrast with 2 in year 2013.
At least 80% of these kinds of fatalities happen among the aged, who have a harder time swallowing the sticky cakes.
In all the years, the emergency services in Japan caution people to slice mochi into pieces that are bite-size prior to serving them especially to young kids or even aged relatives.
They suggested that consumers who are at risk chew each and every piece into a paste that is easily digestible before swallowing, also saying that mochi is not supposed to be ingested alone.
Popular techniques for dislodging mochi that has been trapped include slapping the back sharply, Heimlich maneuver as well as the method shown in film of Juzo Itami, Tampopo- Sucking the stuck cake using the pipe of a vacuum cleaner.