Mount Fuji
At the foot of Mount Fuji is Aokigahara forest, a "popular suicide spot." REUTERS/Michael Caronna

Hundreds of people in Japan became sick this week after eating frozen food contaminated with pesticide, according to several reports on Wednesday.

The reports said food made by Maruha Nichiro Holdings was somehow tainted with malthion, a pesticde used on farms and gardens, and also used to rid pets of fleas.

The company placed advertisements in newspapers alerting the public to the threat and so far had retrieved just over a million packages of the food.

Tainted food incidents are rather common. According to an April 2013 study from, a group that tracks the industry, "Nearly 1,000 reported incidents regarding foods from 73 countries over the past year demonstrate the global nature of risks to our foods. These incidents are comprised of food items that were in violation of a country’s regulatory scheme, and some of the most frequent offenders are surprising."

Surprisingly, Japan is one of the countries with the most instances of food safety violations. China, the United States, India and Vietnam round out the list of nations with the most food safety issues, the report said.

"Problems found were very wide-ranging, but Food Sentry’s initial analysis shows that, by far, violative levels of pesticides are the number one food safety problem with the exception of the United States exports. The number one problem with US exports currently appears to be Listeria monocytogenes contamination, followed by various types of mycotoxin contamination," the report said.