Japanese holiday snack mochi rice cakes is a deadly tradition

Officials Warn Of Deadly Holiday Snack In Japan
Officials Warn Of Deadly Holiday Snack In Japan

A simple snack in Japan is becoming a deadly tradition.

At least nine people have died after choking on mochi rice cakes. It's made with sticky rice and grilled beans and traditionally eaten in large amounts over the holidays.

The Guardian reports it's not unheard of for people to die every January from choking on the treats, but this year has seen an especially high number of fatalities ... more than 120 people have been rushed to the hospital because of the cakes.

In 2010, Japan's food safety commission ranked mochi among the top causes of food-related choking incidents.

In 2013, a company attempted to confront the dangerous dish by making a safer alternative that was less sticky and easier to swallow.

Officials urge people to cut the cakes into small pieces and chew them slowly.

More on AOL:
Delaware-sized methane cloud hovers over New Mexico
90-year-old twins die within hours of each other on Christmas Day
Waitress given $2,500 tip from generous customers