According to Asahi Shimbun, managers of three separate restaurants operating in Kyoto were arrested on October 29th for sanitation law violations. The suspects had reportedly served raw beef liver to their customers without clearly indicating that the meat should be cooked (for example, on grills installed at their tables). On July 1, 2012, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, citing food poisoning risks, banned the sale of raw beef liver throughout Japan. If it is served in restaurants, it must be done so with explicit instructions that it should be cooked before eating.

Kyoto Prefecture Police's Living and Safety Division reported that the violations occurred in July and August of this year at the yakiniku restaurants Chiritori Nabe Gokkoya ちりとり鍋ごっこや and Yakinikuya Terusan 焼き肉屋天照杉 in Chukyo Ward, and the izakaya FUWARI in Uji City.

Kansai Dialect Semantics

As can be seen in this photo of Chiritori Nabe Gokkoya's menu posted by Twitter user (@no_shachiku_no), the menu listed the raw beef liver as "Akan yatsu" あかんやつ.

Although one interpretation of this Kansai dialect term is "the one that's no good" "the useless one" or "the hopeless one," the yakiniku restaurant manager defended himself saying that he meant it as an abbreviated form of the phrase "Yakana akan yatsu" 焼かなあかんやつ, meaning "the one you have to grill." Here, "yakana akan" is the casual Kansai dialect form of "yakanai to ikemasen" 焼かないといけません with the verb "yaku" 焼く (to grill) and the expression of obligation with "ikemasen" いけません

The manager further tried to defend himself saying that he never wrote on the menu that the item was intended to be eaten raw, perhaps implying that the customers would use their common sense to grill the meat at their tables before eating it.

At present, no incidents of food poisoning have been confirmed at any of the three Kyoto restaurants.

By - Ben K.