|Pesticide-tainted Japanese food sickens 300
More than 300 people across Japan have fallen ill after eating frozen food products contaminated with pesticide, reports said.
Shoppers reported food poisoning after eating food produced at a plant in Gunma, north of Tokyo, according to surveys carried out by the Asahi Shimbun and other local media.
The plant, run by a subsidiary of the nation's largest seafood firm Maruha Nichiro Holdings, is at the center of the food poisoning scandal, AFP reports.
Japanese police have launched an investigation after it revealed last month that some of its frozen food products were tainted with malathion, an agricultural chemical often used to kill aphid in corn and rice fields.
According to local media, police suspect the pesticide was mixed into the products at the plant, which produced frozen foods including pizza and lasagna.
Asahi Shimbun said it found the number of people who fell sick “exceeded 300,’’ while national broadcaster NHK said Monday that 359 people had been taken ill.
Maruha Nichiro said that it had received some 460,000 phone calls from consumers in connection with the incident, a company spokesman said.
The food maker had so far recovered some 1.2 million packages of potentially tainted products out of 6.4 million it wants to recall, he added.
Maruha Nichiro said that the products in question had not been shipped overseas.