Okinawa warns of allergic reactions to 'jimami' peanut tofu

NHK -- Sep 13

Japan's southern prefecture of Okinawa is urging tourists who are allergic to peanuts to avoid "jimami" tofu, a local specialty that looks like soybean curd but is made mostly of peanuts.

Local officials say a number of tourists have been taken to hospital over the past few months after eating jimami tofu.

Last Friday, the prefectural government issued a warning through the Okinawa Convention and Visitors Bureau that "jimami" refers to "peanuts" in the Okinawan dialect and the tofu could cause allergic reactions.

It is also urging eating establishments to make sure customers understand that the tofu is made of peanuts.

Miyagi Yoshitsune, a doctor at Nakagami Hospital in Okinawa City, says more people in Okinawa suffer serious peanut allergies compared to other prefectures.

Dr. Miyagi says some patients have trouble breathing and their blood pressure drops, which could be life-threatening.

He urges eateries to be careful in serving the food, and that people with allergies and their families should be aware of the risks.