News On Japan

Schools Rethink Lunch Menus After Student's Choking Death

TOKYO, Apr 02 (News On Japan) - A tragic incident occurred a month ago where a first-grade boy died from choking on a quail egg during school lunch. Since then, there's been a widespread move to remove quail eggs from school menus. But is this the right decision?

Quail eggs, which can be boiled, fried, or scrambled, have long been a popular ingredient in various dishes, beloved by children and adults alike. However, they now find themselves in an unexpected predicament.

The issue began in February when a first-grade boy at a primary school in Fukuoka Prefecture choked to death during lunch. The quail egg used in miso oden is believed to have caused the fatal choking. Following the incident, the city's board of education decided to temporarily suspend the serving of quail eggs in school lunches.

The problem did not end there.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hayashi: "In light of this case, we are requesting that prefectures and boards of education across the country thoroughly implement guidance to prevent choking accidents in school lunches and work towards preventing recurrence."

In the wake of efforts to prevent further incidents, more schools are choosing to "exclude" quail eggs from their menus. This has had a significant impact on "producers."

Hamamatsu Farm President, Tetsuji Kondo: "We haven't done anything wrong, so it's a situation where we're left feeling helpless."

Hamamatsu Farm has experienced a reduction in shipments due to the backlash against quail eggs.

Kondo: "Overall, there's been about a 10% impact on our shipments. Quail eggs have been used in school lunches for many years for a reason. They're nutritious, affordable, and safe to handle."

Online, there are also various opinions.

From X: "Isn't teaching kids to chew properly also a part of food education?"

"Maybe they should just cut them smaller or only exclude them for lower grades."

"I don't think not letting them eat at all is appropriate."

However, some experts argue that quail eggs are a no-go for first graders. Why shouldn't they be fed to first graders? Is the move to exclude them the right decision?

Source: ANN

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