Four people, including two young boys, have died and nearly 40 other people have been hospitalized for food poisoning after eating at six restaurants in Kanagawa, Toyama and Fukui prefectures. More than 20 of those hospitalized are in serious condition, some suffering from kidney dysfunction.

The restaurants are part of a Korean-style barbecue restaurant chain headquartered in Kanazawa. It is believed that shredded raw beef known as yukke caused the poisoning.

A type of colon bacilli, O111, which causes bleeding from intestines, has been found in some of the victims. They visited the restaurants during the period of April 17-26.