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Food poisoning scare to cost JT ¥ billions

Date Posted: 2008-02-10

Contaminated frozen dumplings imported into Japan by one of Japan Tobacco’s subsidiary companies may cost it billions of yen.
The scare sweeping across Japan after food poisoning cases involving gyoza imported through JT Foods Company from Hebei Foodstuffs in China could cost JT upward of ¥8 billion in lost sales. Munetaka Takeda, JT’s Executive Deputy President says poor food sales this month and next could cause injury to its frozen food operations.
Nearly a dozen confirmed food poisoning cases have been linked directly to two pesticides police and laboratory officials have confirmed in gyoza dumpling examinations. Police and government agencies are investigating a much larger number of food sickness complaints—almost 2,000 as of Saturday-- registered with clinics, hospitals and police stations across 38 prefectures.
JT group sales have dropped steadily since the food poisoning reports began surfacing in late December. Removal of Chinese products from Japanese supermarket shelves, coupled with concerns about frozen foods in general, has already caused JT to back off a planned merger of its frozen foods division with Nissin Food Products Company. JT says it still expects to make a ¥246+ billion net profit in the business year ending March 31st.

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