Japan's flowing noodle restaurant closes after mass food poisoning

Over 900 people contracted food poisoning after visiting a restaurant in Japan that serves noodles that flow in spring water down a long bamboo chute.

"Nagashi Somen" ("flowing noodle") restaurants have been in Japan since the 1950s, and are popular with tourists and locals. Patrons grab thin wheat noodles with chopsticks as they pass by. It doesn't sound hygienic, but the bug didn't come from an infected diner dipping dirty chopsticks in the water. Officials investigated the cause and found that the spring water contained Campylobacter bacteria.

From the CDC:

People with Campylobacter infection usually have diarrhea (often bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Nausea and vomiting may accompany the diarrhea. Symptoms usually start two to five days after infection and last about one week. Some people experience complications, such as irritable bowel syndrome, temporary paralysis, and arthritis. In people with weakened immune systems, such as those with a blood disorder, with AIDS, or receiving chemotherapy, Campylobacter occasionally spreads to the bloodstream and causes a life-threatening infection.

The Asahi Shimbun reported that the staff failed to check the water quality "due to damage caused by heavy rains in mid-July," which doesn't make a lot of sense. Regardless, the local government shut the joint down and the restaurant announced it will close the business for good after compensating the victims.

Perhaps the owners can team up for a new venture with failed restaurateur Lauren Boebert, who served tainted pork sliders that rewarded eaters with explosive diarrhea.