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Nissin Food Products Issues Recall For Tainted Noodles

Fri, 10/24/2008 - 9:30am
Jay Alabaster, Associated Press Writer

TOKYO (AP) -- One of Japan's largest instant noodle makers said Friday it was issuing a nationwide recall after a woman grew sick when she ate a cup of noodles that was later found to be tainted with an insecticide.

Nissin Food Products, Co., which makes the Cup Noodle brand instant noodles, said it was recalling the products and advised customers not to eat noodles that had an odd smell or damaged packaging. The recall only applies to the Cup Noodle brand instant noodles in Japan.

The recall covers 500,000 cups of instant noodles, according to Japanese media reports.

It is the latest case of tainted food to strike Asia in recent months. The industrial chemical melamine was found in a host of Chinese-made milk products in September, prompting a string of recalls in dozens of countries.

The recalled noodles are a cheap and common snack in Japan and are manufactured in the country.

Nissin president Susumu Nakagawa said the noodles could not have been contaminated at his company's factories.

"We have confirmed that the chemical is not and has not ever been used in this product," he told reporters at a press conference late Thursday.

Earlier Thursday, city officials in Fujisawa, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo, said a woman had grown sick and vomited after eating Nissin Cup Noodles she bought at a local supermarket earlier in the week. The noodles were found to be contaminated with paradichlorobenzene, a chemical used in bug repellent.

On Friday, the Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union, which runs a chain of cooperative supermarkets, said it had found the chemical in several varieties of Cup Noodle made by Nissin and was pulling the products from its stores.

This year, Japan has been hit by several high-profile incidents involving tainted food, including rice and soybeans, and Tokyo is considering creating a new, specialized agency to monitor food and product safety.

Nissin launched the world's first instant noodles, a chicken ramen product, in 1958, according to its Web site.

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