Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

More Than 13 000 Reported Ill in Japan after Drinking Milk Products

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

More Than 13 000 Reported Ill in Japan after Drinking Milk Products

Article excerpt

Japanese health authorities have launched an investigation into one of the country's worst outbreaks of food poisoning amid growing consumer concerns about the safety of dairy and other manufactured produce. On 10 July, the Ministry of Health and Welfare reported a total of 13 809 cases of food poisoning in eight western states. The affected people suffered from diarrhoea and vomiting after drinking low-fat and calcium-enriched milk products from a Snow Brand factory in Osaka -- approximately 180 cases required hospital treatment.

Adding to consumer concerns were suspicions of a cover-up. After the first few cases of food poisoning were reported, Snow Brand detected traces of Staphyloccocus aureus in swab examinations of its facilities on 29 June. However, these findings were not made public immediately and products were not recalled until 1 July. It later emerged that hygiene standards at the plant were lax. The bacteria collected in a valve that had not been cleaned for almost a month, although regulations stipulated that it should have been cleaned every week. Newspapers also reported that workers regularly used milk that had passed its sell-by date as an ingredient for high-calcium milk and other products. Tetsuro Ishikawa, the company president, and three other executives have accepted responsibility and resigned. "We were over-confident," Mr Ishikawa said.

Snow Brand, which held 14% of the milk market in Japan and more than 40% of the cheese market, has seen its share price plunge as a result of the incident and 21 plants have been closed for inspection. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.