Michelin-ranked Tokyo restaurant says sorry on beans

Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:40am EST
 
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TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese restaurant awarded the Michelin restaurant guide's coveted three-star rank apologized on Tuesday for selling jars of beans containing bacteria that could cause food poisoning.

The black beans were sold under the name of the Kagurazaka Ishikawa restaurant, known for its dishes of seasonal fish and meat.

The beans, which went on sale at a Takashimaya department store in Tokyo, were found to contain Bacillus Cereus bacteria that could cause vomiting or diarrhea, said Nana Okada, a spokeswoman at Takashimaya Co.

The beans, which were made at a factory in central Japan under the guidance of the three-star restaurant in Tokyo, were possibly not heated sufficiently to be disinfected, Okada said.

"We are so sorry for the trouble," Hideki Ishikawa, the owner and chef of the restaurant, told Reuters.

Last week, Michelin unveiled its restaurant guide for Tokyo, awarding the city with more stars than any other cities. Nine restaurants were given the three-star rating, which Michelin defines as "exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey."

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota)