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17
12 Feb, 2023
1 min time to read

The use of AI technology in the food industry is growing as companies look to improve safety, hygiene, and efficiency.

Japanese sushi chain, Kura Sushi, is taking steps to prevent "sushi terrorism," the trend of customers tampering with food at conveyor-belt restaurants. The chain plans to upgrade its existing cameras with artificial intelligence (AI) that will look for suspicious behavior, such as customers putting back sushi they have touched, and alert employees. The system is set to launch by early March.

This move comes as videos of unhygienic food tampering at sushi restaurants have gone viral, causing outrage among many in Japan. In one instance, a video of someone licking the spoon for a container of green tea powder was widely circulated on social media. Another video of someone licking the top of a soy sauce bottle and touching passing sushi caused the parent company of Sushiro, another conveyor-belt sushi chain, to see its stock drop nearly five percent.

To combat the trend, Kura Sushi is not the only chain to take action. Sushiro, for example, replaced all the soy sauce bottles and cleaned every cup at the affected restaurant, and implemented policies like making food only to order to assure customers of the restaurants' cleanliness.

Kura Sushi has previously used AI in other ways, such as using an app to grade the quality of tuna cuts. The company aims to use AI to enhance the customer experience and improve food safety, while combating the trend of food tampering.