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Health ministry orders recall after cancer-linked substance found in instant noodles

The ministry responds to reports on the 'Ah Lai Penang White Curry' and 'Indomie Special Chicken Flavour' products.

Bernama
2 minute read
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A worker arranges Indomie 'Special Chicken Flavour' instant noodles packets on the shelves of a supermarket in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 26. Photo: Reuters
A worker arranges Indomie 'Special Chicken Flavour' instant noodles packets on the shelves of a supermarket in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 26. Photo: Reuters

Following the detection of ethylene oxide in the "Ah Lai Penang White Curry" and "Indomie Special Chicken Flavour" products, the health ministry has ordered a voluntary recall of the former for batches expiring on Aug 25, 2023 from the Malaysian market.

The ministry has also issued a directive to hold, test and release the "Indomie Special Chicken Flavour" instant noodle product from Indonesia at all entry points of the country and urged its manufacturer to voluntarily recall the affected products from the market.

Health director-general Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan in a statement today said the ministry is aware of the report by Taipei's department of health on the detection of ethylene oxide in the "Ah Lai Penang White Curry Noodle" product from Malaysia and the "Indomie Special Chicken Flavour" instant noodle product.

Ethylene oxide is a chemical gas that is carcinogenic and is often used as pesticides. It is also an active ingredient in detergents, not allowed to be used on surfaces that come into contact with food.

Commenting on the white curry noodles, Radzi said product sampling in Malaysia found that it complied with the legislative requirements.

"However, to maintain control over food safety, the ministry has directed a voluntary recall of both the products from the local market should there be any," he said.

On the "Indomie Special Chicken Flavour" product, he said through the Food Safety Information System of Malaysia it was confirmed the Indonesian instant noodle products have entered the country.

Meanwhile on the recall of "Mi Sedaap" products from Indonesia due to the presence of ethylene oxide in 2022, he said the ministry through the food safety and quality division had carried out continuous food safety monitoring on food products sold in the local market, including those imported.

Following monitoring from the year 2022 to date, on 36 samples of instant noodle products of various brands in the local market, he said 11 samples of "Mi Sedaap" products were found to contain ethylene oxide and enforcement actions taken included fines, court action and product recall.

"The health ministry is always aware and concerned over matters that can threaten the health of consumers. The public is advised not to purchase or consume these products,” he said.

For more information regarding the issue, consumers may contact the nearest district health office, visit the website http://moh.spab.gov.my or the Food Safety and Quality Division Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bkkmhq.

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