Bread Recalled in Japan After 'Rat Remains' Found

About 104,000 loaves are being recalled.

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Eric Sorensen

TOKYO (AP) β€” Loaves of bread have been taken off store shelves in Japan after the remains of "a small animal" believed to be a rat were found.

Production of the bread was halted at a Tokyo factory, with 104,000 packages being recalled, according to Pasco Shikishima Corp.

The company apologized and promised compensation.

"We will do our utmost to strengthen our quality controls so that this will never happen again. We ask for your understanding and your cooperation," it said in a statement this week.

Japanese media reports said at least two people who bought the bread in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, complained to the company about finding a rodent in the bread.

The bread had been sold in various areas, including Ibaraki, Niigata, Kanagawa, Fukushima, Aomori and Tokyo, according to Pasco.

The company, based in Nagoya city, central Japan, also makes rolls, bagels and muffins.

Japan boasts relatively high food safety standards. But the nation has been rocked by food woes recently, including 1,000 schoolchildren sickened by milk and two people who got sick after eating steak at a restaurant, both earlier this month.

Widespread food poisoning from a health supplement product broke out in March and killed five people.

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