2 dead, 13 hospitalized after choking on mochi in Tokyo
The Tokyo Fire Department said Wednesday that 15 elderly people were hospitalized on Tuesday and Wednesday after choking on mochi rice cakes. Of those, two died—an 83-year-old man from Suginami Ward and a 68-year-old man from Shinagawa Ward.
On Monday, the National Police Agency and the Fire and Disaster Management Agency appealed to elderly people to be careful when eating mochi during the New Year holidays.
The cakes, a traditional New Year’s food, cause choking incidents among elderly people every year. Authorities said elderly people should cut up their mochi into small chunks and eat it with great care, and in the presence of someone else.