Don't throw your pancit canton noodles in the trash just yet! The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that the Lucky Me! brand of instant noodles in the Philippines are safe to eat amid news that these noodles contained a potentially dangerous chemical.
In early July, the governments of France, Ireland, and Malta issued an advisory to its citizens warning them not to consume Monde Nissin Corporation's Lucky Me! noodle products as it contains high levels of ethylene oxide, a chemical used as treatment against the microbiological contamination of some spices and dried aromatic herbs like sesame seeds.
"Although the consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health, there may be health issues if there is continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time," the government of Ireland stated.
The noodles that the countries warned against, however, came from Thailand, not in the Philippines.
In a statement released on Friday, July 15, FDA officer-in-charge Director General Oscar Gutierrez Jr. reassured the pubic that they coordinated with the manufacturer of the noodle products to determine their level of ethylene oxide and found that some of its variants will not lead to health risks.
"The local manufacturer of the Lucky Me! Brand Noodle Products reported to the FDA that, based on tests conducted by an independent laboratory in Vietnam, ethylene oxide was not detected in the samples submitted for the following variants: Pancit Canton Extra Hot Chili, Pancit Canton Regular, Pancit Canton Chilimansi, and Instant Mami Beef Regular," the FDA said.
It emphasized that "these Lucky Me! instant noodle variants are safe for consumption".
While it was initially found that the Pancit Canton Kalamansi variant contained the chemical at a level below the European Union's acceptable level of 0.02 milligrams per kilogram, the FDA later clarified that it also passed the standard for ethylene oxide and is safe for consumption.
This makes all flavor variants of the Lucky Me! instant noodles safe to eat.
"The level of ethylene oxide in Pancit Canton Kalamansi (less than 0.01 mg/kg) passes the standard for ethylene oxide even of the European Union," the FDA stated.
Meanwhile, the Lucky Me! brand welcomed the findings of the FDA and said that they are always committed to ensuring their customers' safety.
"From the very first Lucky Me! noodle we served almost 33 years ago, we have always put our consumers' safety and product quality at the forefront—these form the core of our business. Rest assured that we will always remain 100% committed to these," it said.