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OSAKA, JAPAN-Staphylococcus aureus is being blamed for the worst outbreak of food poisoning on record in Japan. Tainted lowfat milk produced by Snow Brand Milk Products, Japan's largest maker of dairy products, has sickened over 11,000 people. No deaths have been reported, but Snow Brand Milk President Tetsuro Ishikawa admitted a production-line valve at their Osaka factory might not have been cleaned properly allowing for the growth of the bacteria. Ishikawa apologized to consumers and offered his resignation effective Sept. 30.
Health officials have recalled the contaminated products and closed the plant indefinitely while investigations are underway.