I came across an article on a small outbreak of e. coli bacteria in Japan. It mentioned in the summary that it came from a barbecue chain. That hit the bells in my head, and I looked more closely. The e. coli’s source was YukHui (pronounced Yook-hway–Korean steak tartare) at a Korean barbecue chain.

Fingers are pointing around. The food ministry is taking some hits for not enforcing its policy on inspecting raw beef. The restaurant chain is under fire for not checking their beef for contamination in two years. And the distributor who supplied the beef is really getting the–um, beef. I’m sure they’ll point their fingers at someone else.

This is something that I’ve been afraid would happen in Korea, too. The populace had been so consumed with mad cow madness that they ignored the very real problem of e. coli. I’ve never heard anyone talk about it on the peninsula.

I’m a big fan of YukHui, and there are actually YukHui pubs here. But I usually prefer to eat it at a butcher restaurant, where they handle the meat from full sides of beef to the dish. The contamination tends to occur in places where there is mass processing and little personal touch or care. So be careful when eating YukHui in a place that doesn’t specialize in it.

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