Netizens are impressed with how manufacturer admits fault and tackles the problem scientifically.

Japanese rice crackers, or senbei, are delicious when eaten plain or wrapped with a bit of seaweed. The crunchy snacks are so versatile that people even think it’s a good idea to stuff them full of edible wasps.

They usually come in large packets, but when Japanese Twitter user @moyu1001 opened hers, she discovered large black spots on one of the senbei. Unsure if they were burnt spots or patches of mold, she sent the package back to the manufacturer, Kameda Seika.

▼ The company promptly replied @moyu1001 with a lengthy
explanation of their manufacturing process (translation below):

“Dear Madam,

We wish to express our gratitude for your continued success in the future and we greatly appreciate your continued patronage of our products.

We sincerely regret that you’ve experienced such unpleasantness caused by our ‘18-piece magari senbei’. We deeply apologize and truly thank you for letting us know about it.

We’ve graciously received the product from you on 5 February.”

(continued below)

▼ There’s so much politeness oozing from the letter that any customer,
angry or not, would have forgiven them on the spot.

“1. Product confirmation

Upon inspecting the sample that you’ve generously provided using our company’s microscope, we’ve confirmed that there were no traces of mold spores or fungal characteristics. In order to further identify the cause of the black spots, we sent the product to our in-house quality assurance department to undergo Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) analysis. This process involves the discharging of infrared rays towards the target, allowing us to determine its characteristics based on infrared absorption or emission rates.

The analysis conclusively revealed that the spots’ constituents matched starch and protein profiles of ‘magari senbei’, and that they are essentially the result of charring.”

(still continued below)

▼ So it’s not mold, but burnt stuff?

“2. Causative factors

During the roasting process, the batter travels on a wire mesh conveyor belt and gets heated by 20-meter long infrared burners situated below and above the belt.

Vibration from equipment operating continuously at high temperatures might have resulted in charred product fragments dropping onto the surface of the senbei.

Our company conducts daily health and safety checks, performing tests before and cleaning procedures after operation. Even during manufacturing, we strictly adhere to quality standards and conduct regular checks. Products unable to meet specifications are swiftly removed, but as your product has shown, it proved to be inadequate. We apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

(yes… still continued below)

▼ You can almost feel the writer of the letter kneeling apologetically.

“3. Preventative measures

The wire mesh conveyor belt is wiped once daily before operation commencement, but we’ve decided to thoroughly clean it again after lunch break. Depending on the belt’s condition, we’ll perform additional cleaning procedures to ensure such events do not occur again.

To provide ease of mind to our valued customers when consuming our products, we will endeavor to prevent such accidents from happening again. We greatly appreciate your continued patronage.

We’ve provided a fresh packet of senbei for you to enjoy.

In closing, we hope for your health and good fortune.”

@moyu1001 was glad the black spots didn’t turn out to be fungi, but more than that, she was rather impressed with the exhaustively detailed letter from the manufacturer. Japanese companies treat complaints very seriously, which is why some even go as far as apologizing for minor 20-second-early train departures.

Source: Twitter/@moyu1001 via Hachima Kikou
Featured image: Twitter/@moyu1001
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2, 3)