Maruha cuts food output in Hokkaido as demand drops over pesticide scare

Bloomberg

Maruha Nichiro Holdings Inc.’s frozen foods unit said it is cutting production at a factory in Yubari, Hokkaido, as consumers shun its brands following the discovery of pesticide in products made at a different plant.

The company is reducing operations in Yubari after shutting down the facility in Gunma Prefecture where the contaminated products were made, said Mizuki Nagaoka, a spokeswoman for the frozen foods unit, Aqlifoods Corp. She declined to say how much output is being reduced.

Police are questioning about 300 workers at the packaged-food maker after hundreds of people were sickened by pesticide levels 2.6 million times the safety limit in frozen croquettes. Aqlifoods is cutting output at its Yubari factory 30 percent, the Nikkei newspaper has reported.

Food from its Gunma factory sickened at least 890 people and was found to contain malathion.