Two diners at a restaurant in Osaka, Japan, have been arrested for using their chopsticks in a communal bowl of ginger.
Double dipping is a BIG NO-NO in Japan.
Toshihide Oka, 34, and Ryu Shimazu, 35, were accused of obstruction of business after they used their own used chopsticks to eat pickled ginger from a container intended for all customers and then posted a video of it all online.
These arrests were part of Japan's crackdown on "sushi terrorism" – it happened at the gyūdon (beef bowl) chain Yoshinoya back in September, police said.
The video was shared widely over social media and showed a man, believed to be Shimazu, repeatedly shoveling pickled ginger into his mouth.
From The Guardian:
"I wanted to make people laugh," Oka told police, according to the Kyodo news agency. "I asked [Shimazu] to do something funny, and he suddenly ate it. I shared it on social media because it was so funny. I wanted everyone to see it." The newspaper said both men had confessed to the allegations.
Yoshinoya operates about 1,000 restaurants in Japan, and when they saw the video back in February, they notified the police and were forced to temporarily close the location in Osaka, replace the pickled ginger and disinfect all its containers.
"It is truly regrettable that this news has caused discomfort and anxiety among customers and has called into question the safety and security of eating out in general," a spokesperson for the firm said. "We sincerely hope this will not happen again."
Sushi terrorism is on the rise in Japan, but you have to admit there are worse things...
Just a week before these arrests, another man, 21, was indicted for licking the top of a communal soy sauce bottle at a revolving sushi restaurant, and two other people were arrested in connection with the incident.
Another prank shows a teenager licking the rim of a teacup before putting it back on a shelf and then wiping saliva on a passing plate of sushi.
This kid has reportedly expressed remorse for his behavior and indicated he wants to apologize to the restaurant's operator, Kura Sushi.
The sushi chain described the pranks as a "public nuisance," adding that it hoped the arrests would deter other would-be pranksters. It has since installed security cameras equipped with artificial intelligence to monitor customers, while other hi-tech kaitenzushi chains have halted their conveyor belts.