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Tainted Chinese-made frozen food hit food producers hard

February 1, 2008

Japan Tobacco and its subsidiary JT Foods announced Wednesday that they would withdraw some of their products for retail and business use, as 10 people in Chiba and Hyogo Prefecture came down with food intoxication, after eating Chinese-made frozen dumplings that contaminated with methamidophos, an organic phosphorus insecticide.

The products were made by Tianyang Food, based in Shijiazhuang in Heibei Province, imported by JT Foods.

19 Japanese companies are importing various products made at the same plant and they started pulling products from store shelves. Maruha and Ajinomoto are not among 19, but said their products use materials made by the Chinese food producer and began recalling products.

Major chained grocery stores, Ito Yokado and Life Corporation, moved all frozen food items produced by JT from store shelves. Inageya, a Tokyo based grocer with 130 locations, pulled all JT Foods` products, although it never sold the suspected Chinese-made dumplings.

“We have been having numerous negative feedback on Chinese-made products, saying it`s disgusting, uneasy or they would never want to have food imported from China. We decided to discontinue selling JT`s frozen food products until we confirm safety” a public relations officer at Inageya said to the Suisan Times.

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