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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 29 May 2024

FSSAI safety glare on packaged spices after Hong Kong, Singapore flag Indian imports

The Hong Kong government’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) had announced on April 5 that several prepackaged spice mix products imported from India were found to contain a pesticide called ethylene oxide during routine food surveillance

G.S. Mudur New Delhi Published 23.04.24, 07:45 AM
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Under lens Sourced by The Telegraph

India’s apex food safety agency has initiated a nationwide quality check of packaged spices after authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore ordered the recall of specific products imported from India allegedly found contaminated with a pesticide.

The fresh quality check initiative on spices by the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will pick up samples from across the country, said an officer with the FSSAI who requested not to be named.

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The Hong Kong government’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) had announced on April 5 that several prepackaged spice mix products imported from India were found to contain a pesticide called ethylene oxide during routine food surveillance.

The CFS had listed Madras Curry Powder, Sambhar Masala Mix Masala Powder and Curry Powder Mixed Masala Powder from MDH and Fish Curry Masala Powder from Everest as products found to contain ethylene oxide.

“Members of the public should not consume the affected products. The trade should also stop using or selling the affected products immediately if they possess any of them,” the CFS had said in a media release.

The FSSAI officer said the ongoing quality check will look at not just MDH and Everest products but premixed spices from other firms too.

The Singapore Food Agency on April 18 had also issued a recall order on Everest’s Fish Curry Masala powder saying the product had been imported into Singapore too. Ethylene oxide is a pesticide that is not authorised for use in food, the agency said.

Under Singapore’s food regulations, ethylene oxide is allowed to be used in the sterilisation of spices. Although there is no immediate risk to consumption of food contaminated with low levels of ethylene oxide, long-term exposure may lead to health issues, the agency had said.

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