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Over 950 students, staff suffer food poisoning in Tachikawa

26 Comments

More than 950 staff members and students at seven elementary schools in Tachikawa, Tokyo, suffered food poisoning on Friday, the Tachikawa Board of Education and local health officials said.

According to the board, 954 students and staff reported symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, Fuji TV reported. Five were hospitalized.

Following a meeting on Sunday afternoon, headmasters decided to close four of those elementary schools on Monday.

Health officials said all the students and staff got sick after eating lunches prepared by a supply center of school meals that prepared 3,000 lunches on Thursday.

The center has been ordered to suspend operations until Friday.

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26 Comments
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Wow. Didn't something like this happen not too long ago?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Cut costs by not preparing 'on-site' and what do you get?

Is there some health and safety inspection mechanism in place for such preparation sites (rhetorical question)?

5 ( +8 / -3 )

@Tokyo-Engr,

I was thinking the exact same thing, I was hoping this article was just an update to the previous incident

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yakiniku got me three weeks ago.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I would have been more honest to say which food was responsible ot was it a hygiene problem.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I predict some serious deep bowing from officials soon.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Tokyo-Engr: Yes, it happened in Gobo City, Wakayama, last month. But we also heard about it a few times last year, on school trips to the same inn where people got food poisoning before, etc., because nothing ever changes here and standards are very poor when it comes to enforcement.

I mean, almost 1000 students poisoned and the company only has to suspend operations for five days.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

I would have been more honest to say which food was responsible ot was it a hygiene problem.

Odds are they are unsure of exactly which food or foods was responsible, and hygiene is often a problem in Japanese food preparation.

Amazing that there are not more cases like this throughout the country. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if it actually does happen more often but since it isn't on this scale, it does not get reported in the media, and is dealt with locally.

Cut costs by not preparing 'on-site' and what do you get?

This is not necessarily true either, it could be very well an ingredient in the food that caused the illness and it would have or could have had the very same effect even if prepared on site.

On site preparation is not a guarantor of not getting ill from food poisoning.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

almost 1000 people.. that's a lot

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Someone coming to work with a norovirus and going anywhere near food / utensils / work surfaces will do that.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

For what it's worth, TV news said that no one got sick from the meals with a different menu that were prepared in the same day. At first glance I'd think that indicates an ingredient problem. But there was no information as to whether preparation areas and staff were the same or different.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They will find what foods caused it. Facilities (not restaurants) that prepare food for large groups >50 at a time (I think that's the number) have to keep small samples of all food prepared in a refrigerated sample case that is segmented for each food item.

It is isn't always published, but the prefecture health department knows and the facility come under heavy scrutiny and may lose its license.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Near where i live there is a bento shop which has a small store at the front for take out but mostly its business comes from bulk orders for companies etc. The side door is always open and the place is revolting looking and smelling. It would be closed in a heart beat in any other first world country.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There seems to be a lot of food poisoning cases in Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Here in the UK we had a similar thing where the local councils closed individual school kitchens so they could save money, but my late wife protested for these local school and most were reopened, it was proven that warmed up meal are NOT as nutritious as freshly cooked ones, it was noted that there was very high rate of food being thrown away as it was horrible, (80-90%) so children were going hungry, also when children don't eat, and for some it was there only hot full meal of the day, attention drifted off at the end of the school day and it was noted the results dropped off as well, but when the kitchens were reopened the children were happier, had more energy, better results and grades were achieved and food waste dropped dramatically. in these cases where possibly food poisoning has occurred it is going to be easier to trace the source of the infection, cooking in school can be controlled more, i.e. budgets, training, hygiene, and serving good nutritious food.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

How many times does this have to happen before there is some sort of reform and more strict regulation? It's happened at least half a dozen times just in the last 12 months. Oh, hang on! Japanese food is healthy, isn't it?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Schools need to have staffed cafeterias where catering staff hand out freshly made meals. When I was at school we have freshly cooked meals made in the school kitchen.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Last Friday walking to work I passed a yakitori shop. The shutter was halfway up and obviously a meat vendor had delivered the supply of meat for the day. The meat was in a thin plastic sack. The floor it was sitting on was in the entryway to the shop. The floor was filthy and blackened from heaps of foot traffic going in and out of the place. I would be extremely reluctant to eat the yakitori there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's so funny when labor policies don't match up with disease and illness. The norovirus spreads from your body for two weeks after symptoms show, even when you're feeling well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japan has a serious food hygiene problem - never heard of so many cases of mass food poisoning. In fact, I haven't heard of any food poisoning cases in my country since I was in school. What's going on in Japan?!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Maybe take their own lunches to school like the rest of the world. That way no chances of cross contamination.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Lunch cooked early morning and left out.

A single bacterium can multiply to over two million in just seven hours.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Welcome to all talk and no action. I mean... if you watch Japanese programming, you'd think something like this would never happen in Japan. But unfortunately it happens all too often. It wouldn't bother me but the arrogance by the Japanese when it comes to their food and preparation as being the best in the world... but then you see incidents like this happen. You know what the biggest problem is? The Japanese culture itself.... no one speaks up. Parents just shrug their collective shoulders and say "shoganai". Nothing will change unless people start to get mad and really put up a stink.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Bring own food or buy from outside.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When I was in Japan last year it was around November time, I was in Kanazawa, in a pizza restaurant, I was shocked to see the guy LICK his hands twice and never washed them, he cross contaminated raw meat, and yet again he didn't wash his hands, food that should have been in a fridge was left on the side to get warm, when it should not, and there was several other problems I saw, after complaining to other members of staff about his actions, they sort of shrugged there shoulders and did nothing. I would like to know if there is a public department that handles food stalls and restaurants as I still feel strongly about the lack of hygiene and training in this restaurant.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ Brian,

Its a joke, we had a "health and safety" check a while back. I ran places in the UK and Australia and am proud of my standards, the guy turned up, used a laser pointer to measure the size of the place had not changes. checked the location on the freezers had not changed and left in 2 minutes flat, pathetic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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