This is not the type of meat you want to find in your noodles.
A female customer was dining at the Shimizu interchange branch of the Kourakuen ramen restaurant chain in Shizuoka Prefecture last month when she discovered what looked to be a portion of a human thumb in the bowl of noodles her child had been eating. After alerting staff to the foreign object, she filed a complaint with the city health centre, who confirmed that the foreign object was indeed a one-centimetre (0.4-inch) wide and 0.7 – 0.8 millimetre (0.3-inch) long portion of fingertip, with an attached nail.
▼ This restaurant chain promotes itself as child-friendly in their 2016 commercial.
According to a report handed over to the health centre from the head office of the Fukushima-based ramen restaurant chain, a part-time worker at the store had cut the top off the thumb of her right hand while slicing chashu roasted pork during the preparation process, which led to the cut portion being mixed in with the food.
Following the findings, the store was ordered to confirm that there had been no other reports of contamination, and instructed to disinfect all cooking utensils. There was no suspicion of infectious diseases being passed from the staff worker in question.
Once media reports of the incident surfaced, Japanese ramen lovers were quick to express their dismay at the news.
“This would be such a traumatic experience. I don’t think I’d ever be able to eat ramen ever again.”
“Why on earth would you cut yourself and just carry on without doing anything about it?”
“This gives me goosebumps.”
“I used to like Kourakuen!”
“Thank goodness the child didn’t end up eating it.”
While the restaurant says it plans to ensure an incident like this never happens again, it looks like it may take some time before noodle lovers can forget the details of this horrific dining experience.