The impact of health issues caused by supplements made from “red yeast rice” (Kojikin) manufactured by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical is spreading to various retailers. On March 28th, FamilyMart announced the removal of three products containing the ingredient from their shelves. Takashimaya also stopped selling bean snacks containing the same ingredient.

The full scope of related products is not yet clear, and the impact could continue to expand. The Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union has stopped supplying and started recalling gyoza products confirmed to use red yeast rice ingredients. The products FamilyMart began removing from shelves include “Bibimbap Fried Rice & Samgyeopsal” among three items, found to contain red yeast rice ingredients sold by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical. While the sales regions for the affected products vary, including nationwide and Okinawa, the sales period targeted is from March 19th to 28th. Customers who have purchased the affected products or have receipts can get refunds at the stores.

FamilyMart stated that the ingredients used in their products do not contain the “unintended components” explained by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical, according to their public relations officer. However, they decided to halt the sale of the affected products until the cause is clarified.

Takashimaya revealed that by March 28th, they had stopped selling bean snacks from Mamefuku (Nagoya City), “Red Yeast Powder” from Tomizawa Shouten (Machida City, Tokyo), and “Red Koji Miso” from Honda Miso Honten (Kyoto City), all of which contained red yeast rice ingredients sold by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical. These products were sold in their deli and confectionery sections in stores like the Osaka and Shinjuku branches. They also called for customers to report to the manufacturers for a voluntary recall if they have the products.

The issue is also affecting food supermarkets. On March 28th, the Japanese Consumers’ Cooperative Union announced that two of their gyoza products were found to use red yeast rice ingredients manufactured by Kobayashi Pharmaceutical as part of their raw materials.

Although the materials did not contain the unintended components mentioned by the company, supplies of two products, including “CO・OP Chilled Meat Gyoza, 12 Pieces,” will be halted and recalled until the cause is determined.

Life Corporation, which operates about 300 food supermarkets in the Kanto and Kinki regions, is proceeding with the recall of products, such as sake from Takara Shuzo, which the manufacturers have announced for voluntary recall. Aeon announced on March 27th that it would voluntarily recall its private brand products containing red yeast rice as an ingredient

 

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