Japan's Asahi Holdings has said it is recalling tens of thousands of bags of baby food, after a woman in Tochigi prefecture found a cricket in a baby-food package last month leading to a food scare in the country.

Asahi Holdings' subsidiary and baby food giant, Wakodo, will recall an estimated 120,000 bags of the meat-and-potatoes mix for babies.

Asahi Group earlier admitted that Wakodo received the complaint in December from a customer who bought the pack in Tochigi, north-east of Tokyo, which included a 7.4mm insect. The woman reportedly purchased the product, which was packaged in a retort-pouch style, in a drug store in the city of Utsunomiya in December.

Asahi and its subsidiary said they had decided to recall the batch, noting that they do not know the bug got into the potatoes during the manufacturing process. The product was manufactured at a plant in the city of Kazo, Saitama Prefecture, in July 2014.

"We deeply apologise to our customers for causing trouble and worry," Wakodo said in a statement.

A pioneer in baby products in Japan, Wakodo joined the Asahi Group in May 2006. The Tokyo-headquartered firm sells products including infant formula, various baby food items, food for mothers during pregnancy, oral care products for the elderly, skin care products for babies and pharmaceuticals.