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Japan food probe widens as 1,400 reportedly fall sick

Published on Jan 9, 2014 1:40 PM
 
Police investigators entering the Gunma factory of Japanese frozen foods company Aqli Foods, a subsidiary of Japanese food company Maruha Nichiro Holdings at Oizumi in Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo to inspect plant facilities on Jan 4, 2014. A probe into pesticide-laced frozen food in Japan has widened, with police interviewing factory workers assigned to a packaging room, reports said on Thursday, as the number who have fallen sick reportedly topped 1,400. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (AFP) - A probe into pesticide-laced frozen food in Japan has widened, with police interviewing factory workers assigned to a packaging room, reports said on Thursday, as the number who have fallen sick reportedly topped 1,400.

The country's consumer affairs minister has condemned the manufacturer of the tainted items, a subsidiary of Maruha Nichiro Holdings, Japan's largest seafood company, saying they were slow to bring the matter to public attention.

At least 1,400 people nationwide have complained of illness - most displaying mild symptoms of vomiting, cramps and diarrhoea - after eating the suspect products, according to the latest tally compiled by Kyodo News and issued Wednesday.

The company, called Aqlifoods, received the first of a series of complaints on Nov 13, with a customer saying its frozen pizza smelled like machine oil.

 
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