A producer of frozen dumplings in north China's Hebei Province has suspended production over suspicions that its dumpling exports to Japan could have caused a mysterious food poisoning outbreak.
Tianyang Food Co. halted production on Wednesday afternoon and its products are being recalled, said officials with Hebei Provincial Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.
Company sources are not immediately available for comment.
At least 10 people in Japan's Hyogo and Chiba prefectures reported stomach ache, vomiting or diarrhoea after eating the dumplings, according to Japanese media.
The Japanese government, after examining the vomit of the poisoned people and the food packages left at their houses, found enough methamidophos, a pesticide substance, to poison humans, said Wang Daning, head of the Bureau of Import and Export Food Safety under the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.
Yet tests by Japanese authorities on the rest of the dumplings of the same batches sold in Japan, totaling more than 2,000 packs, were safe, so were all the other types of products made by the same company in Hebei, Wang said.
The administration said it conducted tests on samples of the same batches of frozen dumplings and no trace of pesticide remains was found.
Tests on the raw materials being used by the factory such as flour ginger, cabbage and packing material showed they were also safe.
Tianyang Food Co. has a history of 30 years. Its products are sold only to Japan.
(Xinhua News Agency February 2, 2008)