Consumption of contaminated pickled cabbage has so far led to the death of seven people, while another 103 are suffering sickness in northern Japan, health officials have confirmed.
According to the health officials, the food-poisoning outbreak in Hokkaido was triggered after they consumed pickled cabbage tainted with E. coli bacteria.
Six of those who died were elderly women, while the seventh was a four-year-old girl.
The Sapporo girl breathed her last breath five days after she developed symptoms of E. coli infection.
Confirming the death of the girl, a health official added, "She and her family used to eat the company's cabbage pickles, which they often bought at a local supermarket. But it is not certain when she ate the contaminated product.”
It is the deadliest mass food-poisoning incident that the country has experienced in the past 10 years.
Pickled Chinese cabbage is one of the most popular side-dishes in Japan.
Health bulletins released by the local government revealed that the pickled Chinese cabbage was produced in late July this year by a Sapporo-based company.
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