Several shipments of instant noodles from Vietnam were recently seized and destroyed by Taiwanese customs officials after being found to contain banned chemicals, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said in a statement on July 26. Focustaiwan newspaper reported on the same day.
According to news, customs officials have seized a shipment imported from Vietnam by Simple Mart retail company with a total weight of 1,116 kg, after detecting excessive residues of ethylene oxide (EO), a chemical known as ethylene oxide (EO) among banned substances in Taiwan.
EO residue was detected in a seasoning packet inside a package of JINRO RAMENJ INRO noodles, a Korean-style beef flavored instant noodle, the FDA said.
Earlier on July 25, three European countries, Germany, Poland and Malta, sent warnings and recalled instant noodle products containing chemicals exceeding EU regulations from shipments of instant noodles and pho noodles imported by three Vietnamese companies.
Specifically, Germany warned of chicken-flavored instant noodles, curry-flavored instant noodles of Asia Food Joint Stock Company because they contain EO residues exceeding the EU’s regulatory threshold; Poland warns of chicken-flavored instant noodles from Vietnam Food Industry Joint Stock Company (Vifon) and Malta warns against Nguyen Gia branded pho noodle products. Thereby, Poland recalled the product because it believed that Nguyen Gia’s dry noodle soup was made from genetically modified rice, and Malta returned the shipment to the Vietnamese side.
On June 13, the European Union announced that it would continue to maintain the requirement for additional food safety certificates and keep the inspection frequency of 20% for instant noodle products originating from Vietnam. Last year, Acecook’s Hao Hao brand of spicy and sour shrimp noodles was also warned and recalled by the EU due to its EO content exceeding the permissible limit.
Ethylene oxide is classified as a mutagen and carcinogen by the European Chemicals Agency. Consumption of foods containing EO does not pose an acute health hazard, but increases the risk to health if EO-contaminated food is consumed for a long time.