The Snow Brand milk poisoning crisis rumbles on, with Japanese police now carrying out raids at the company’s offices in Tokyo and Osaka. The authorities were hoping to uncover evidence of criminal negligence and failure to adhere to sanitary regulations. The investigations are believed to centre on production procedures and product management.

Last month contaminated milk produced by Snow Brand led to 14 000 cases of food poisoning in the worst record outbreak for 30 years. Symptoms included diarrheoa and sickness.

According to Japanese legislations, company officials could be subject to prosecution. As a sign of remorse (or in a bid to pacify an outraged population) a number of senior members of staff have tendered their resignations.

Snow Brand’s shares have been hit hard by the scandal, falling nearly 40 percent to a low of 371 yen (US$3.50) in mid-July.