Japan Food Poisoning Scare

Japan, poison, scare, world

Recently a food poisoning scare in Japan left thousands of Japanese citizens experiencing food poisoning related symptoms. This outbreak was the result of pesticides being used at a factory plant in Japan responsible for producing food. Upon this discovery, Japanese police officers have taken a factory worker into custody.

The man arrested for the food poisoning scare in Japan has been identified as 49-year-old Toshiki Abe, who was an employee at the factory plant AQLI Foods Corporation, which is located in the town of Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, Japan. Abe had gone missing prior to his arrest, and Japanese investigators listed him as the key suspect after having found traces of malathion on the clothes that Abe wore to work. This identified Abe as the suspect due to the fact that it was malathion that has caused the food poisoning to occur. Malathion is used in farming, gardening and for killing fleas.

Based on the elemental properties of malathion, investigators believe that it was added to the products prior to the packing process of the food. This conclusion was reached as to how malathion dissolves when heated. Toshiki Abe has been charged with contaminating the frozen foods at the Aqlifood’s Oizumi plant on four different occasions. Abe has reportedly denied the charges that have been brought against him.

As a result of the food poisoning scare in Japan Maruha Nichiro Holdings released a statement announcing that they were going to recall products due to the high levels of malathion found in their products. This recall was put into place immediately, and the company has recalled over six-million packages of their food products. In addition, the Maruha Nichiro Holdings President Toshio Kushiro March 31 in order to accept responsibility for allowing a worker to maliciously contaminate the company’s products. Also, Nichiro and seven other board members of Maruha Nichiro Holdings have agreed to their salaries being cut by as much as fifty-percent over the next three months during a meeting at the company’s headquarters in Tokyo on Saturday night. Furthermore, the public apologizes were issued by Maruha Nichiro Holdings as a result of the food poisoning scare in Japan. Following his statement, Kushiro’s annual income dropped from 7-billion-yen to 4.5-billion.

When discussing the matter, Kushiro stated, “Even though this is an ongoing case, if these accusations prove to be true, then we feel that we have no other option other than expressing our utmost regret in having allowed an individual associated with our company to perform destructive criminal acts.”

It was reported by the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare Department that more than 2,800 had reported cases of food poisoning associated with the company’s food contamination. It was also documented by the Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare department that the products that seemed to be most affected by the pesticide contamination were pizzas, chicken nuggets, and fried chicken. A recent statement released by Maruha Nichiro Holdings announced that the company expects that approximately ninety percent of the distributed packages to be recalled will have been collected by  Tuesday, and that they hope to have a complete recall by the end of next week.

By Aaron Weis

Sources:
Japan Times
Japan News
Japan News
Business Week
Irish Times

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