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Factory worker arrested for lacing food with pesticide

27 January 2014

Image courtesy KYODO©
Image courtesy KYODO©

A factory worker has been arrested at a plant that produced food laced with pesticide. Nearly 3000 people have been poisoned as a result of eating the contaminated frozen food, with more than six million packages being recalled.

Maruha Nichiro Holdings recalled products such as pizza and chicken nuggets after they were found to contain high levels of malathion, a pesticide used in farming for killing fleas.

Police have arrested Toshiki Abe, a worker at Maruha subsidiary, Aqlifoods’ Oizumi, near Tokyo where the contaminated food was found on Saturday. Abe is accused of putting the pesticide in frozen food on four occasions last October but he denies the charges.

Maruha, which has received hundreds of thousands of complaints, issued public apologies in full page ads in newspapers and warned people not to eat any of the possibly tainted food.

The company’s president, Toshio Kushiro, has announced he will resign on March 31.

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