FUKUOKA/GIFU – Foreign objects including insects and hair have been found in 46 lunchboxes offered at municipal junior high schools in Tagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, since April, the local eduction board said Tuesday.
Of the 46 cases, hair was found in 34 lunches and bugs in five, according to the board of education. No health problems have been reported due to the objects.
The board said the objects may have been mixed with food during preparation and urged the responsible company, based in the city of Fukuoka, to take preventive measures. A company official said preparations may have been inadequate as it only recently began operations at its factory.
When board of education officials visited the factory in April and August, the firm confirmed steps to improve the production process — such as the introduction of insect curtains — had been taken.
But foreign objects were found in meals twice this month.
Even without inedible objects, lunches can be stressful for students who are forced to finish the meals.
An education board in the city of Gifu said Tuesday that five children at a public elementary school vomited — in some cases repeatedly — after a teacher told them to eat all of their school lunches.
Four first-graders vomited between April and December last year after a female teacher in her 50s told them to eat all of their lunches. Of the four, two threw up on about three occasions after lunch, the eduction board said.
In July, another second-grader vomited after being told by the same teacher to eat everything. A parent had asked the school to not force the child to eat because the student was not feeling well, but the teacher was not told about the request, officials said.
Other teachers at the school have also told children to eat their entire meals, but on those occasions similar problems did not occur.
The board said it received an anonymous call this month and conducted a hearing. The female teacher apologized during the hearing, saying she just wanted to encourage children to have healthy meals.
“Part of the instruction was not appropriate,” an education board official said.