Snow Brand, the Japanese firm responsible for the worst outbreak of food poisoning in the country for 30 years, has plunged into the red for the first time since it went public in 1950. The country's largest dairy posted pretax losses of 24.4bn yen for the six months to September 30 after consumer confidence in the firm collapsed in the wake of the summer food poisoning outbreak, in which contaminated milk affected 15,000 people. Over the same period last year profits exceeded 7bn yen. US agency Moody's downgraded the stock because of "significant damage" to the brand image. {{NEWS }}