TOKYO - Hundreds of thousands of frozen pasta meals were being recalled in Japan on Wednesday after a cockroach was found inside a packet.
Nissin Frozen Foods, a unit of instant noodles pioneer Nissin Foods Holdings, is probing "a claim by a customer who spotted something foreign inside a product, and discovered that part of an insect believed to be a cockroach had slipped" into a bag of frozen pasta, it said in a statement.
The company was calling for the return of some 750,000 meals sold by supermarkets right across Japan, a Nissin spokesman said, adding the recall did not affect food sold abroad.
"We are using frozen vegetables in making the products, and the insect is believed to have been attached to a vegetable, which in turn was presumably sent to our production line," he said.
The company is investigating how the bug slipped in, he said, declining to disclose where the company got the frozen vegetables.
The products were made in its plant in Shizuoka prefecture in central Japan, the company said.
Japan has a good record on food safety and consumers are used to high standards.
However, occasional food scares sometimes prove very costly for manufacturers, who can find themselves shunned by shoppers for years.