Factory worker arrested in Japan over pesticide poisoning

Almost 3,000 people reported illness relating to consumption of frozen food products

The headquarters of Maruha Nichiro Foods in Tokyo. A man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of contaminating food products which may have poisoned thousands of people. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

The headquarters of Maruha Nichiro Foods in Tokyo. A man was arrested yesterday on suspicion of contaminating food products which may have poisoned thousands of people. Photograph: Kimimasa Mayama/EPA

 

Maruha Nichiro Holdings pPresident Toshio Kushiro will resign on March 31st to take responsibility after the frozen-food maker’s products were contaminated with pesticide, the company said in a statement.

A 49-year-old contract employee of a Maruha Nichiro subsidiary was arrested yesterday on suspicion of contaminating products, the Yomiuri newspaper reported, citing police in Gunma prefecture northwest of Tokyo, where the plant is located.

In a separate statement released yesterday, Maruha Nichiro said it lowered its full-year net income forecast to 4.5 billion yen (€32 million) from 7 billion yen.

The company’s frozen-foods unit said on January 12th that it’s cutting production at a factory in Yubari, northern Japan, as consumers shun its brands following the discovery of pesticide in products made at the Gunma plant.

More than 2,800 people across the country have reported feeling ill in possible connection with the contamination, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Bloomberg