It’s that time of year again.

It is said that for everything there is a season, and apparently that also holds true for putting a booger into pizza dough. That’s what happened on 12 February when a worker at a Domino’s Pizza in Amagasaki City, Hyogo Prefecture, was videoed appearing to pick his nose and wipe it into a large wad of pizza dough.

▼ News report on the booger incident with the underage offender’s face and voice hidden

Domino’s released a statement via Twitter explaining that the dough in question had not undergone its 24 hours of fermentation, and thanks to the speed at which the video spread through social media, the food was intercepted before anyone had to eat it. The entire restaurant was also subsequently shut down for sanitization and the staff will likely face charges.

This incident also comes about a week after workers at a Syabuyo shabu shabu restaurant in Saitama filmed themselves squirting whipped cream from a pastry bag into another worker’s mouth, with the bag touching his mouth multiple times. Customers were spared this time as well, since the incident took place after the restaurant closed and the cream was to be thrown away anyway.

▼ News report on the cream incident with the underage offenders’ faces hidden

Still, it’s the kind of thing that hurts a restaurant’s image and harkens back to the “sushi terrorism” incident that made headlines almost a year ago to the date. Readers of the news online expressed the same disgust with these incidents as with past ones and are generally amazed that people still do it.

“They’re getting really fast at catching these people.”
“At least no one ate the stuff.”
“Do these kids not watch the news?”
“I think he uses a different finger on the dough in the nose-picking video. It’s still gross and he should be punished though.”

“Surely, these guys are using social media, so they must know how this ends.”
“This is probably the best time to order from Domino’s since their security is heightened.”
“I really like Domino’s so this really sucks. I’ll still eat there, though.”
“It’s sad to see a whole store’s reputation ruined by one person.”
“It’s been a while since we had some baito terrorism.”

In general, these types of gross stunts are defined as “bakatter” which is a portmanteau of the Japanese word “baka” (stupid) and “Twitter” which is where the videos are sometimes posted. Within bakatter is the subset of “baito terrorism” (part-time terrorism) in which the stunt is performed by a worker of the same business they’re defiling.

Based on the testimonies of past bakatter and baito terrorism offenders, the post is usually intended to be shared only by a circle of friends, but ultimately leaks out and goes viral. It’s also been argued that the businesses affected by baito terrorism are chains that offer low wages with hard working conditions, making the act a sort of revolting revolt.

Bakatter as a whole is often traced back to 2013 when there was a flurry of videos and photos showing young people in Japan doing annoying stupid things in a variety of settings. However, in the past five years or so, these incidents seem strangely condensed to the months of January and February with an occasional spike in activity around June. This begs the question, “Why now?”

▼ Graph showing months when bakatter and baito terrorism incidents made national news.

The only possible correlation I can see is that January tends to be when the main university entrance exams are held in Japan, and since most of the offenders are high school students, it may be related to the stress associated with that. It’s hard to say for sure though, since their exact ages aren’t often reported to know if they’re even involved in those exams.

It could conceivably just be the cycle of lawsuits as well. Last year’s sushi terrorism case was largely concluded in October, allowing for a few months’ grace period so that a new breed of baito terrorists could potentially forget all about it.

Whatever the reason, during these two months in Japan you may want to be extra vigilant when eating out at chain restaurants. Better yet, it might be a good time to cook for yourself. We just happen to know some great ways to enjoy a home-cooked meal with friends that’s been disgustingly tainted in a safe and secure environment.

Source: Twitter/@dominos_jp via Tokyo Sports via Hachima Kiko (1, 2)
Images: ©SoraNews24
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