Japan issues recall after rat poison found in Vietnamese fish imports

Tokyo – Packages of frozen fish from Vietnam containing rat poison were found by a seafood importer in Yamaguchi Prefecture, western Japan, with a recall issued nationwide, officials from Imura Industry said Thursday.

The seafood importer said that frozen dried Icelandic capelin with roe, imported in May, had been tainted with what appeared to be a yellow powder and traces of feces.

The company added that the fish packed in transparent bags had been tainted by the powder and at least one of the bags had been opened.

Imura President Takashi Imura told local media that while he believes the exporter’s facilities in Vietnam are up to safety standards, these will be reviewed by the company.

The issue was raised by Imura Industry while the prefectural government and health officials subsequently confirmed that the fish had been contaminated with rat poisoning, that, if consumed in large quantities, could lead to headaches, nausea and vomiting and could be fatal.

Yamaguchi prefectural health officials confirmed that as yet there have been no instances of consumers’ ill health, but the product sold in 10 prefectures around Japan and imported at the same time as the contaminated shipment would be pulled from the shelves.