Cause of Mass Food Poisoning in Japan School Identified

The city government of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, said Friday that it has identified bread served in school as the cause of mass food poisoning that has sickened more than 1,000 children in the city.

The city ordered Hofuku, a company in Higashi Ward of Hamamatsu that made the bread, to suspend operations for the time being.

As a result of the municipal authorities’ inspection Thursday night of Hofuku’s plant where the bread was made, norovirus was detected from a doorknob of a restroom for female employees, according to officials of the municipal government and the city’s board of education.

Norovirus was found in nine students and eight teachers who ate bread that was made at the factory on Monday and served in school lunch on Tuesday, the officials said.

A seven-year-old boy of an elementary school in Higashi Ward was hospitalized after complaining of stomachache Wednesday night, becoming the first person hospitalized in the food poisoning incident.

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Maruha Nichiro Recalls Pesticide-Tainted Frozen Foods

Major Japanese food maker Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc. said Sunday that a pesticide, called malathion, has been found in frozen foods made at a plant run by subsidiary Aqli Foods Corp.

Maruha Nichiro has started voluntarily recalling all items made at the plant in the town of Oizumi, Gunma Prefecture, eastern Japan, regardless of their best-before dates, company officials said.

At least 6.3 million packs of frozen foods will be recalled, according to the officials. These were made between mid-November and Sunday.

The company is investigating the cause of the pesticide contamination. The Aqli Foods plant suspended operations.

“We have decided to recall all items made at the plant to fully ensure” the safety of customers, Maruha Nichiro President Toshio Kushiro said at a press conference in Tokyo.

4 dead so far from food poisoning at yakiniku chain

The death toll in a string of food poisoning cases believed to be caused by consuming raw meat at a "yakiniku" barbecue restaurant chain has risen to four after a 70-year-old woman died Thursday, local authorities said.

In response, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry asked prefectural governments to conduct emergency checks on whether restaurants serving meat to be eaten raw are properly observing sanitation standards, ministry officials said.

Read the rest of the story: Death toll in food poisoning at yakiniku chain reaches 4.