Malaysia bans sale of MDH and Everest spice brands on suspect of EtO

After Nepal, Hong Kong and Singapore banned the two spice brands, Malaysia’s Health Ministry issued an order to immediately stop the sales of two Indian products.

By  Storyboard18May 29, 2024 1:00 PM
Malaysia bans sale of MDH and Everest spice brands on suspect of EtO
The Ministry said a review of data through Malaysia's Food Safety Information System until last April revealed only one importation of the Everest Fish Curry Masala brand and reported no imports of the MDH Curry Powder brand into the country. (Image source: News18)

The Malaysian Health Ministry (MOH) has ordered the immediate cessation of sales of two Indian spice items, Everest Fish Curry Masala and MDH Curry Powder, which are suspected of containing ethylene oxide (EtO), as per the country-based reports.

This comes after the Indian food regulator, FSSAI, found no trace of EtO in samples of spices of these two major brands— MDH and Everest, that were tested in 28 accredited laboratories. In the past, countries including Singapore, Nepal, and China have banned these products on the same suspects.

The Ministry has asked retailers to stop selling these products, including online retailers who may have the inventory of them. Additionally, all social media and e-commerce sites have been asked to stop promoting these foods right away. "Ethylene oxide, often used to kill pests, also controls microbiological contamination in spices from bacteria, viruses and fungi, and acts as an active ingredient in cleaning agents. Its use in food and food-contact materials is not permitted due to its carcinogenic nature," the Ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry said a review of data through Malaysia's Food Safety Information System until last April revealed only one importation of the Everest Fish Curry Masala brand and reported no imports of the MDH Curry Powder brand into the country. It was also mentioned that the Ministry through the Food Safety and Quality Programme conducts ongoing inspections and enforcement at entry points nationwide. Alongside, the Ministry is also monitoring aflatoxin, heavy metals, and pesticide residues in spice products at all entry points into the country.

First Published on May 29, 2024 11:18 AM

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