Rat parts found in slices of white bread in Japan, sparking recall

Rat parts found in slices of white bread in Japan, sparking recall

Japan’s major food supplier has recalled more than 100,000 packs of a popular brand of sliced white bread after rat parts were found in some of the bread.

The latest fears add to a slew of food safety scandals plaguing Asia’s second-largest economy, which has a long-standing reputation for the reliability of its food exports.

In a statement on Wednesday, Pasco Shikishima Corporation said it was investigating how the “small animal” department found the two packets of sliced bread, adding that no one had fallen ill so far after consuming the product.

It later confirmed to CNN that the body belonged to a rat.

They were found in a batch of “chojuku” white bread – or super-fermented bread, known for its chewier texture – produced by a factory based in the western Tokyo region, according to the company.

“We will recall the below products produced at the same factory and stop the line temporarily to determine the cause and implement countermeasures,” he said in the statement, adding that the recall involved about 104,000 packs.

“We express our sincere gratitude for our incredible selection of products,” he said.

The recalled products are not sold overseas, a company spokesperson told CNN.

White bread is a staple food for many Japanese when they feel like Western-style meals, or “yoshoku,” as an alternative to traditional Japanese food.

Founded in 1920, Pasco is a leading supplier of baked goods employing more than 3,700 people in 12 factories across the country.

The recall isn’t the only food scare to hit Japan in recent years.

In March, Japanese health authorities ordered the recall of three dietary supplements produced by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, a major drugmaker, following the deaths of several users. More than 100 others were hospitalized.

Last August, food supplier Warabeya Nichiyo revealed two instances of cockroaches were found in its rice balls sold at a 7-Eleven convenience store in Saitama, north of Tokyo, according to Reuters.

Several fast food chains that sell the country’s famous beef rice bowls and sushi have also been subjected to pranks dubbed “food violence” by people licking shared bottles of soy sauce or eating communal ginger with used chopsticks.

Pasco’s recall has drawn a flurry of comments on social media from customers torn between their love for the company’s products and shock at the discovery.

One affected customer wrote on X: “I was wondering if I should put it in the freezer for the expiration date when I got the news … I used to like my choju the best.”

Some poked fun at the company by referencing the bread ad.

The 15-second ad, which was released a few months ago, features a family expressing their love of good toast for breakfast, accompanied by a voice saying: “We don’t put anything unnecessary in it.”

“I like my choju bread. It is safe and does not contain unnecessary ingredients. I also use it for my son’s baby food,” wrote another on X.

“I’m sure it’s good for small animals too,” said the user.

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