Falsified Tainted or Aged?
Food safety and mislabeling scandals in Japan, in alphabetical order.
Meat Hope president gets 4 years for scam (2008-03-20)
SAPPORO (The Asahi Shimbun) – The district court here Wednesday handed a four-year prison term to the president of Meat Hope Co. for defrauding clients and consumers by mislabelling its products…The company, based in Tomakomai, southern Hokkaido, is now undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. According to the ruling, Minoru Tanaka, 69, ordered his factory to add minced pork, chicken and lamb to products that were supposedly only made of beef.
Police investigate beef mislabeling (2008-07-09)
YORO, Gifu Prefecture (IHT/Asahi) – Police searched the offices of meat packer Maruaki here and elsewhere Tuesday in connection with an alleged false labeling racket. Police said the company passed off low-quality beef as high-end Hida-brand produce, in violation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Maruaki President Akiichi Yoshida admitted last month that he had instructed false labeling of grades and processing dates, as well as making meat products using ground beef past its expiry date.related: Insult to meat consumers: Meat Hope
Boxed lunch on the train
15 mil. ‘expired’ food items sold on JR shinkansen bullet trains (2008-03-16)
TOKYO – A catering subsidiary of Central Japan Railway Co. said Tuesday that it sold an estimated 15 million food items with expired dates for safe consumption on shinkansen bullet and other trains. JR-Central Passenger Co. has received no complaints of health problems stemming from the ”expired” box lunches, sandwiches and other food items but company President Takeshi Tategami apologized for ”undermining public trust,” saying the false labeling ”became habitual due to familiarization of the process.”
JR Tokai’s caterer admits selling old ‘bento,’ sandwiches (2008-02-08)
(Japan Times) – A catering subsidiary of Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said it recently sold about 15,900 expired "bento" (boxed lunches), sandwiches and other food items at train stations and on bullet trains after deliberately extending their expiry times by several hours.
Cakes, cream puffs
Head of Japan’s Fujiya resigns in food scandal (2007-01-15)
TOKYO (Reuters) – The president of Japanese cake maker and retailer Fujiya Co. Ltd.on Monday said he would resign to take responsibility after the company sold cream puffs and other pastries made from stale ingredients. … Fujiya has admitted to shipping products made with old eggs, cream and milk at least 18 times over the past seven years. It also said it supplied pastries last year that were later discovered to contain unacceptable levels of bacteria.
President faces charges over mislabeled chicken meat (2008-07-09)
URAYASU, Chiba Prefecture (IHT/Asahi) – Police on Wednesday sent to prosecutors the case of the president of a Tokyo meat company who has admitted disguising Brazilian chicken as domestic that was served at public schools here in 2006. According to police, Yoshio Okuyama, the 65-year-old president of Yamagataya, sold to Urayasu city 1,235 kilograms of chicken thighs, which were delivered to a school lunch center and two other locations over 14 occasions between July 3 and July 19, 2006.
Six held in Akita chicken-labeling scandal (2008-05-02)
AKITA (Kyodo) – A former president and five other executives of an Akita Prefecture-based poultry processor were arrested Thursday on suspicion of shipping cheap chicken products falsely labeled as Hinaijidori, a high-quality local specialty brand. The 77-year-old president of now-bankrupt Hinaidori K.K., Seiichi Fujiwara, and the other five were arrested on charges of fraud and violating the fair competition law. All admitted to the allegations, the police said.
Ishiya mislabeled chocolate, found E. coli in popsicles (2007-08-15)
(Japan News Review) – The Sapporo-based sweets manufacturer Ishiya Chocolate Factory Co. deliberatedly mislabeled the expiration date on chocolate from their popular brand “Shiroi Koibito,” the company revealed on Tuesday. It was also revealed that bacteria had been found in Baumkuchen layered cakes and popsicles produced in the same factory.
Eel maker raided over label (2008-09-07)
MATSUYAMA, Ehime Pref. (Kyodo) – Police raided the head office of now-defunct Sunrise Foods for evidence the company used false labels to market eel products of dubious origin as produce from Ehime Prefecture, a well-known production center for the fish. Sunrise Foods is suspected of selling a wholesaler 13,000 eels labeled as Ehime produce for ¥10 million on July 1, 2008, even though the eel were from elsewhere.
Farming union mislabeled imported eels (2008-06-17)
ISSHIKI, Aichi Prefecture (The Asahi Shimbun) – A union in this town that boasts Japan’s largest production of farmed eels sold tons of imported eels falsely labeled as domestic, the agriculture and fisheries ministry said Tuesday. The Aichi prefectural government will order the union to correct its operations under the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) Law. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and other authorities, the Isshiki eel farming union mislabeled and sold 70 tons of eels imported from Taiwan between January and April.
Senba Kitcho scandal expands to eel, roe (2007-12-09)
OSAKA (Kyodo) – High-class restaurant chain Senba Kitcho K.K., under fire for falsely labeled beef products, has allegedly been misleading consumers about the origin of its conger eel and the eat-by dates of its fish egg products, informed sources said Saturday.
Yet another food scandal (2008-07-05)
(Japan Times) – The agriculture and fishery ministry has found that an Osaka-based firm shipped 2.05 million Chinese grilled eels after labeling them as domestically produced. The firm, Uohide, says it wanted to clear Chinese eel inventories, the sales of which had had plummeted in the wake of food poisoning incidents involving Chinese "gyoza" dumplings that was reported in late January.
McDonald’s outlets used expired ingredients, falsified labels for 6 years (2007-11-30)
(Japan News Review) – The four Tokyo McDonald’s outlets that were acknowledged to have sold salads with false production labels on Tuesday also used products beyond their expiry dates, McDonald’s Japan announced on Thursday. It was also revealed the the fabrication date falsification had been going on since six years back on a nearly daily basis, Japanese media reports. A McDonald’s in-house probe at the outlets revealed they had used sliced tomatoes and “McShake” milkshake ingredients, as well as yoghurt and eggs which were past their expiry dates. Staff has also admitted they instructed their subordinates to replace labels showing the actual production dates and hours with false ones, a Kyodo News report quoted Eiko Harada, president of McDonald’s Japan.
Beekeeper told to stop mislabeling honey (2008-08-09)
KOBE (The Yomiuri Shimbun via honighaeuschen.eu ) – The Hyogo prefectural government on Friday ordered a 72-year-old beekeeper of Sayo-cho in the prefecture to stop falsely labeling honey made in China as a product of the prefecture. …The beekeeper has allegedly put on the market a total of 1,250 kilograms of the Chinese-made honey, Pure Honey Rengeso (Chinese milk vetch), with a label claiming it was produced in Sayogun (in the Banshu Plain) between Jan. 22 and June 10. On Aug. 1, an informer contacted the Nishi-Harima citizens bureau of the prefecture about the mislabeling. When questioned by the prefectural government Tuesday, the beekeeper admitted to the allegations. He later withdrew the product–which mainly had been sold in western Hyogo Prefecture–from the market.
Ofuku Mochi resumes sales after labeling scam (2007-12-06)
TSU, Mie Pref. (Kyodo) – A time-honored sweets maker resumed sales Wednesday of its Ofuku Mochi rice cake for the first time since voluntarily suspending business Oct. 30 over false labeling of the product’s production dates and ingredients. In late October, Ofuku Mochi Honke told local health officials that it had continued to falsify label production dates by more than one day and extend expiration dates.
Wait, don’t eat that: candy scandal stuns Japan (2007-10-30)
(IHT) – Akafuku, a confectioner that had been selling bean-jam sweets here since 1707, has become the latest Japanese food company to be exposed for lying about the contents of its products, tampering with expiration-date labels and recycling ingredients. …The confectioner always said it made its bean-jam sweets — glutinous rice cakes, or mochi, enveloped in red bean jam — the same day and disposed of all unsold goods. But according to a government investigation, for at last three decades Akafuku had systematically reused up to 90 percent of its unsold products, using the ingredients to make new sweets or passing them on to an affiliated confectioner. What is more, the company had forward-dated expiration date labels and had frozen and thawed the sweets.
Mikasa Foods scooped up ‘bad’ rice (2008-09-08)
(IHT/Asahi) – Mikasa Foods Co. aggressively purchased government stocks of tainted rice from abroad that was intended for glue manufacturing to sell to companies that make rice-based products such as senbei crackers, shochu liquor and even miso paste. In fact, the wholesale distributor bought as much as one-quarter of the industrial-use rice the government sold over the past five years, sources said.
Mikasa rice recovery ‘difficult’ (2008-09-09)
(Japan Times) – Mikasa Foods said that it collected 4 to 5 tons of tainted rice Friday and Saturday from a company that purchased it for "shochu" distilled alcoholic beverages.
Boiled bamboo from China mislabled as grown in Japan (2008-09-10) (J) (Nishinippon Shimbun) – A Tochigi firm labeled vacuum-packed bamboo from China as produced in Japan from at least September 2007 to June 2008, according to the Japan Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It says Marukyo Co. Ltd. also claimed the mislabeled bamboo shoots were boiled in spring water from the area. About 1.4 million packs (289 tons) of the goods were sold in Kanto, Kinki Supermarkets.
LA Times – Scandals threaten Japan’s image of culinary purity (2007-11-12)
Kanji for ‘fake’ takes the ’07 cake (2007-12-13)
KYOTO (Kyodo) "Nise," meaning "fake," was chosen in a poll as the kanji of 2007, reflecting food mislabeling scandals, problems over political funds and faulty pension records, Kyoto-based Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation said Wednesday.