Customer says cockroach found in Japan instant noodles, prompting production halt

Days after a cockroach in frozen pasta sparked a mass recall in Japan, a noodle maker has shuttered its operations after claims a cooked bug was found inside a meal. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Days after a cockroach in frozen pasta sparked a mass recall in Japan, a noodle maker has shuttered its operations after claims a cooked bug was found inside a meal. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

TOKYO (AFP) - Days after a cockroach in frozen pasta sparked a mass recall in Japan, a noodle maker has shuttered its operations after claims a cooked bug was found inside a meal.

Maruka Foods Corp said it was recalling two types of instant fried noodles, after "a claim from a customer that a foreign object, an insect, had been spotted inside one of the products".

The company also said in a statement issued on Thursday that it had suspended its entire production line for the time being.

The recall affects 46,000 packets of the popular Peyoung instant fried brand, which came into being in the 1970s and has a strong fanbase that refer to themselves as "Peyoungers".

Maruka announced the recall after the customer posted a photo on Twitter showing the bug, later confirmed to be a 2cm-long black cockroach, entangled in noodles, local media said.

The bug is believed to have slipped into the noodles before they were fried during the manufacturing process, the Mainichi Shimbun daily and other reports said.

The brand of noodles affected is only sold in Japan, the company said.

The move came a day after Nissin Frozen Foods, a unit of instant noodles pioneer Nissin Foods Holdings, recalled hundreds of thousands of frozen pasta meals after a cockroach was found inside a packet.

Japan has a good record on food safety and consumers are used to high standards.

However, occasional food scares sometimes prove very costly for manufacturers, who can find themselves shunned by shoppers for years.