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4 workers sacked over video of them spitting out food at southwest Japan restaurant

This partially modified image shows a part-time employee pouring soft-serve ice cream in their mouth.
A screenshot of an apology posted on Daishin Industry Co.'s official website is seen.

OITA -- A local "yakiniku" grilled meat chain operator announced April 15 that four part-time workers had been subjected to disciplinary dismissal for posting an inappropriate video on social media of them putting store food that should have been discarded in their mouths and spitting it out.

    Daishin Industry Co., based in the Oita Prefecture city of Beppu, posted an apology on its official website, saying, "We're sorry for making you feel very uncomfortable while increased hygiene measures are being called for amid the coronavirus pandemic."

    The video, which spread on social media, shows young people who are thought to be employees putting spaghetti, cake and other foodstuff that should have been discarded in their mouths and spitting them out in Kankokuen's Beppu store's kitchen, as well as putting their face under a machine and directly catching soft-serve ice cream in their mouths.

    According to Daishin Industry, the four youngsters are all university students who were working part-time. The roughly 30-second video was apparently recorded just before the end of business hours around midnight on April 13. One of the part-time workers posted the video on a private Instagram account, but it was later shared on multiple social media platforms. It spread even further after a popular YouTuber who came across the video took up the issue, which led to the identification of the outlet.

    At around 10:30 p.m. on April 14, the company was flooded with phone calls at about 10 of its stores in Oita Prefecture and found out about the issue. When asked about the video the next day, the part-time employees admitted that, "We got carried away. This is the first time we've joked around like this." They were consequently all handed disciplinary dismissal. The company says it will discuss future responses with a corporate lawyer.

    Daishin Industry told the Mainichi Shimbun, "We lost credibility as a chain established in the community. We are very sorry."

    (Japanese original by Tomohiro Tsujimoto, Oita Bureau)

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