7-Eleven rice ball onigiri cockroach Japanese convenience store food recall news

Recall issued for thousands of rice balls following customer complaints. 

On 4 August, 7-Eleven issued a recall of its Pickled Plum Shiso, Sesame rice balls in Saitama Prefecture after two customers found cockroaches inside them.

According to news reports, the recall was announced after the company received separate complaints from two customers who had purchased the same variety of rice ball from the same store in Saitama Prefecture on the morning of 4 August.

In both cases, a cockroach was said to have been found inside the packaging film. Thankfully, both customers noticed the insect before eating the rice balls.

After confirming the contamination complaints, 7-Eleven issued a recall of all its Pickled Plum Shiso, Sesame rice balls sold at its stores in Saitama Prefecture with a best-before date of 9:00 p.m. on 4 August. This amounted to around 2,000 rice balls sold at roughly 370 stores.

▼ News report of the recall

7-Eleven says it believes the contamination occurred where the rice balls were manufactured, at the Warabeya Nichiyo Foods Omiya Factory in Saitama City. The factory stopped the production line for cleaning and sterilisation following the incident.

7-Eleven issued an apology on 4 August, which read:

“Thank you very much for your continued patronage of 7-Eleven.
We received a report from customers that a cockroach had been found in our Pickled Plum Shiso, Sesame rice balls sold at a 7-Eleven in Saitama Prefecture.
This line of rice balls, manufactured at a factory, have already been removed from stores, but to be absolutely safe we are issuing a voluntary recall. Therefore, if you have an applicable product, please send it to the shipping address provided by cash on delivery.
We have reported this matter to the local public health centre. In addition, regarding the related factory, after stopping the production line, cleaning and sterilisation was conducted, as well as an emergency inspection and fumigation treatment by an insect extermination company.
We sincerely apologise for the extreme trouble and inconvenience caused to our customers. In future, we will strengthen and enforce thorough quality control and strive to prevent a recurrence.”

If you were one of the possibly hundreds of people who purchased one of these rice balls in Saitama Prefecture, you can return it to the address mentioned in 7-Eleven’s official notice linked below.

Source: 7-Eleven, Nikkei
Images: 7-Eleven
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