A class-action lawsuit out of California claims that sushi rice consumed by restaurant-goers in the state has been tainted for years.
According to the lawsuit, which is filed against the Sacramento-based Farmer’s Rice Cooperative, says that the rice exporter used inferior, broken and even recycled rice and sold it as high-quality sushi rice. Even more shocking are claims that the rice also has allegedly been tainted with mold and rat droppings.
“Defendants store and maintain rice in such a fashion as to allow foreign substances such as insects, rodents and their soiling, bird remains, and black mold to be present in its processed rice,” claims the lawsuit, of which two former FRC employees are a part.
Attorney Brian Kabateck, who represents the group filing the lawsuit, claims that most people who’ve eaten sushi in California in recent years has likely consumed tainted rice.
“Every single person who has been to a sushi restaurant in the last few years probably has had contact with this kind of rice,” said Kabateck. “In some conditions it may be as little as 15 percent sushi-grade rice, and 85 percent other grades of rice. We're just saying, be observant and see and wait and find out what's going to happen, because we are going to get to the bottom of this investigation, and we're going to find out what's happening.”
FRC said in a statement to Eyewitness News that the claims against them are completely untrue.
“These claims are absurd,” reads the statement. “We have been in business since 1944 and sell rice to the most quality conscious customers in the world. Our rice is as safe as it gets.”