People enter a Domino’s Pizza outlet operated by Jubilant Foodworks Ltd. in Amritsar, India. (Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg)

Bugs In Oregano Report Scares Jubilant Foodworks’ Investors

Shares of Jubilant Foodworks Ltd., the operator of Domino’s Pizza chain in India, declined the most in over four months after a media report said insects were found in its oregano sachet.

The Indian Express reported that a Delhi-based resident posted a video of bugs crawling out of the seasoning sachet. The customer allegedly found insects in the sachets a day after the order was delivered, the report said.

Jubilant Foodworks, in a statement to exchanges, said after a complaint about oregano sachets at one of its vendors in Gurugram, the company conducted an inspection at all its outlets. All its ingredients are safe for consumption and it hasn’t received any other such complaint, it said.

Brokerage firm Deutsche Bank said in its research note that the incident could potentially be serious for Domino's franchise in India. “While we do not know the veracity of the incident, in today's social media connected world, such issues can snowball fairly quickly unless contained/managed effectively,” it said.

In a clarification issued to the stock exchanges later in the day, Jubilant FoodWorks said, “The company has since carried out a comprehensive inspection across vendors & stores and would like to reassure that all our food ingredients are safe for consumption and we have not received any other complaint of this nature.”

Shares of Jubilant Foodworks declined as much as 8.4 percent on Wednesday, the most since May 30, to Rs 1,305 apiece.

(Updates an earlier version to add Jubilant FoodWorks’ statement.)

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