Pasco Shikishima Corporation announced on Tuesday that it is recalling around 104,000 units of its Chojuku sliced bread after parts of at least one rat had contaminated the product. On Sunday morning, the company received an email from a customer in Gunma Prefecture who wrote: “There’s a foreign object in my bread. It could be a small animal.” The bread was recalled and examined. A black lump was found in it that turned out to be part of a rat’s body. Shikishima received a phone call with a similar complaint two days later, also from Gunma.

Both customers said they noticed the contamination before eating the bread. The Nagoya company subsequently decided to recall more than 100,000 of its five-slice and six-slice Chojuku Yamagata products in 15 prefectures, including the Kanto and Tohoku regions. The best-before dates on the items are between Tuesday May 7 and Saturday May 11. They were produced on the same line at the company’s Pasco Tama Factory in Akishima city, West Tokyo. “We deeply regret this incident,” said Shikishima. “We will implement thorough measures to prevent it from recurring.” To date, nobody has become ill from eating the product.  

Foreign Objects in Food in Japan 

While Japan is known for having excellent sanitary standards, occasionally foreign objects have been known to find their way into food items here. Last August, 7-Eleven Japan Co. announced that it was recalling 1,972 rice balls from approximately 370 stores in Saitama Prefecture after customers found cockroaches in two onigiri products at the same shop. The roaches got mixed in during the production process. A couple of months prior, the popular chain store Marugame Seimen apologized after a customer uploaded a clip of a live frog inside his takeaway “spicy dandan salad udon” cup. That same month, a frog was discovered in a salad bought at a supermarket in Ueda city, Nagano Prefecture.


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