crime

Ex-plant worker jailed for 42 months for tainting frozen food

14 Comments

The man charged with lacing frozen food products with a pesticide last October has been sentenced to 42 months in prison by the the Maebashi District Court in Gunma Prefecture.

Toshiki Abe, 49, a former plant worker at the Oizumi plant of Maruha Nichiro Holdings subsidiary Aqlifoods Co, was convicted of lacing the food products.

Abe, who worked at the plant for eight years, was arrested in January after going absent without permission on Jan 14. He was taken into custody in Saitama Prefecture.

The court heard that Abe, who worked on the pizza line at the factory, brought the pesticide malathion into the plant and used it to taint frozen food products such as pizzas and croquettes, four times between Oct 3 and Oct 7, Fuji TV reported.

Abe would often complain about low wages at the plant, his co-workers said.

In all, nine frozen food products were tainted. Health officials said that 2,843 people in all prefectures reported mild symptoms of vomiting, cramps and diarrhea, after eating the tainted products.

Aqlifoods received the first of a series of complaints on Nov 13, with a customer saying its frozen pizza smelled like machine oil.

But the firm did not announce a product recall until Dec 29, after tests found traces of malathion.

Aqlifoods recalled 6.4 million potentially tainted products. None of the products in question had been shipped overseas, the company said.

The firm has since been absorbed by its parent company.

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14 Comments
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Yes, should be attempted murder.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Seems pretty lenient.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Shaun Johnson at Aug. 11, 2014 - 09:11AM JST "Saitama again.. If you are not happy with your wage, get a new job. Simple"

Saitama again? The convicted person lived and worked in Gunma. The crime took place in Gunma. After he fled he was found and arrested in Saitama. So shouldn't you be praising rather than bashing Saitama in this case?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In Japan a suspended sentence can be applied only to imprisonment of three years (36 months) or less. In other words a prison sentence of more than three years (36 months) cannot be suspended.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is that 42 months suspended sentence ..!!!

No, suspended sentence is reserved for "elite" criminals only.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Isn't that an attempted murder charge, which would earn him a lot longer than 42 months (3 and 1/2 months)? If not, why not? Puzzling.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Aqlifoods received the first of a series of complaints on Nov 13, with a customer saying its frozen pizza smelled like machine oil.

But the firm did not announce a product recall until Dec 29, after tests found traces of malathion.

The firm has since been absorbed by its parent company.

So what punishment was given to this company that not only let it happen but announced recalls after the fact?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

2,843 people

... that he poisoned and could have killed... and he gets a couple of days per victim. If I was a victim I'd feel insulted.

So what punishment was given to this company

They've lost a brand, a year of marketing campaign...and of course, they not were punished by justice, only by the market as the shops dropped them, Still harsher than what got TEPCO,

taint frozen food products such as pizzas and croquettes, four times... often complain about low wages

I hope doctors will check his head at the end of his jail stint, Otherwise next time he gets something to complain about, he may step up and cut heads..

1 ( +2 / -1 )

his wage has dropped a bit now...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Educator: not really. Mayb he fled to Saitama because he thought he would blend in and hide better.

Seriously, though... Far too lenient a sentence. Had it been a Chinese worker that did it the nation would be outraged and demanding ties be cut, etc. I'd say minimum five years, given the potential harm to consumers (he's only getting what he got because it hurt the company's rep, btw).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan "Mayb he fled to Saitama because he thought he would blend in and hide better."

Ah, you may be right. But would that be with or without that princely cosplay outfit he wore when hanging out with other motorcycle riders? ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Is that 42 months suspended sentence ..!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Saitama again.. If you are not happy with your wage, get a new job. Simple

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I don't recall a slump in sales of domestically-made food when this happened.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

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