It may be possible that the former president of Snow Brand Milk Products, Osaka-Tetsuro Ishikawa, actually knew about this summer’s food poisoning debacle on an earlier date than was previously thought. Evidence in a new statement issued to the police investigating the incident will prove vital in establishing whether there is a case of professional negligence to be bought against the company’s 67-year-old executive.

Ishikawa originally stated that he found out about the poisoning two days after the first consumer complaint was received on 27 June, but now it seems that he was notified only one day after. On the 28 June, Ishikawa did not attend a 6pm meeting of department heads that went on to discuss possible media and recall action following the complaint, but some executives claimed that they actually told him about the meeting’s agenda earlier that day. His failure to attend has therefore led to questions being asked as to whether he took adequate action quickly enough to contain the spread of the poisoning.

It was only on 29 June that a voluntary recall of the product that caused the first complaint was initiated, and the media was involved with warnings another day later.