Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tainted food, this time in Japan

Tainted sausage, pizza
Sun, Oct 26, 2008
AFP

TOKYO - JAPAN'S second largest meat processor Itoham Foods Inc has begun recalling more than two million packs of sausage and pizza products possibly containing toxic chemicals, a company spokesman said on Sunday.

The company admitted on late Saturday that a total of 2.67 million packs produced and sold last month in the country could be tainted with toxic cyanogen compounds exceeding the government's health safety standards.

At a news conference, Itoham senior managing director Shinichi Yamada apologised for the possible contamination and a delay in its announcement of the case.

'Our crisis management was insufficient. We would like to deeply apologise to our customers,' Mr Yamada said, adding that the company, however, has so far received no reports of health problems.

Mr Itoham found the toxic substances in water from wells at its factory in Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo. It used the water for production of the packs.

Japan has been on alert after a series of health scares involving food, mostly made in China.

Earlier this month a woman fell sick after eating frozen green beans imported from China, which were found to contain thousands of times the permissible level of pesticide residue.

On Friday, Japan's Nissin Food Products Co said it was recalling half a million cups of instant noodles over fears of insecticide contamination in the latest food safety scare to rock the country's consumers. -- AFP

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