Pasco: Rat remains found in Japanese bread triggers recall and refunds

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Image source, Pasco Shikishima Corporation

Image caption, Pasco bread is an ubiquitous presence in supermarkets across JapanArticle informationAuthor, Kelly Ng & Shaimaa KhalilRole, in Singapore and Tokyo

10 May 2024

One of Japan’s most well-known bread brands is recalling thousands of packets and offering refunds after the remains of a rat was found in its products.

Around 104,000 packs of sliced white bread made by the Pasco Shikishima Corporation have been pulled from shelves. Parts of the black rat had been discovered in at least two packets.

Pasco bread is a staple in many Japanese households and a ubiquitous presence in supermarkets and convenience stores across the country.

There have been no reports thus far of anyone falling sick as a result, Pasco said in a statement earlier this week.

“We deeply apologise for the inconvenience caused to our customers, business partners, and all concerned parties,” it said.

The bread was produced at a factory in Tokyo, whose assembly line has been suspended.

Pasco did not say how the rat’s remains ended up in its products, but it pledged to “do our utmost to strengthen our quality controls so that this will never happen again”.

The company has since published a form on its website for affected customers to apply for refunds online.

Its products are also exported to the US, China, Australia, and Singapore, among other countries.

Food recalls are rare in Japan, a country with famously high standards of sanitation.

However there have been several health scares involving food recently.

Earlier this month, hundreds of students in the north-eastern Miyagi prefecture fell sick after drinking milk supplied to their schools.

Last year, the convenience store chain 7-Eleven apologised and announced recalls after a cockroach was found in a rice ball.

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