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Ootoya terminates 3 employees after emergence of ‘unsuitable’ online videos

TOKYO (TR) – The operator of restaurant chain Ootoya announced on its web site on Monday that it terminated three employees following the emergence of videos online that show “inappropriate” behavior.

The development is the latest action to be taken by a corporation following the emergence of similar incidents since earlier this month.

Tokyo-based Ootoya Holdings Co. Ltd. has confirmed the identities of the persons appearing in three videos, all of which were filmed at an outlet in Osaka Prefecture before being posted on a social-networking service between last summer and the end of the year.

In one, a male employee, who is wearing a mask but no pants, covers his lower body with a tray before pulling it away to expose himself. In another, a male employee eats pudding in the kitchen.

In addition to announcing the firings, the company said the tray used in the clip has been disposed of. It also said legal actions against the employees are under consideration.

The company is aware of a fourth video. However, the person appearing in it has not yet been identified.

“We will work hard to prevent a recurrence and regain trust [of our customers],” the company vowed.

To do that, the company said it would hold meetings for employees regarding hygiene and policies regarding use of social media. It also said that smartphones will be prohibited in certain areas of restaurants.

Series of incidents

The incidents involving Ootoya, whose outlets serve a variety of fish and noodle dishes, is only the latest in a series involving food-related companies this month.

On February 14, a clip emerged online that showed a male employee at an outlet of convenience store chain 7-Eleven spitting a food item back into an oden hot pot.

One week before, the same company announced the dismissal of two other male employees after an online video showed one of them using chopsticks to eat noodles direct from an oden pot in an outlet of 7-Eleven.

Two weeks ago, two employees of large sushi chain Kura Sushi resigned after the emergence of a video online that showed them tossing a sliced fish into the trash and pulling it back onto a cutting board in the kitchen of an outlet.