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Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream is being pulled out of stores abroad due to ethylene oxide contamination

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Jul 12, 2022 6:23 pm Updated Jul 12, 2022 11:09 pm

Batches of Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream are being pulled out in several countries after the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) issued a recall notice due to ethylene oxide concerns.

The memo, released by the food authority on July 7, states that Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream in pints, mini cups (75 and 100 milliliters), and bulk sizes with best before dates from July 4, 2022 to July 21, 2023, are tainted by ethylene oxide.

Haagen-Dazs ice cream is produced in France by American manufacturer General Mills. Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are among the countries whose local importers have stopped the distribution of their vanilla ice cream. 

This month's recall is the second for Hong Kong and Taiwan after the Food and Drug Commission of Taiwan found the pesticide in the same products last June. 

Speaking to South China Morning Post, Haagen-Dazs Hong Kong said that its French headquarters conducted an investigation of its production line and found ethylene oxide in the vanilla extract produced by one of its suppliers. The company, meanwhile, noted that other flavors are not contaminated as they do not use vanilla extract. 

The European Union has banned the use of ethylene oxide in food, as it is a chemical originally used as a pesticide or sterilizing agent. Although it does not pose dietary risk concerns, exposure can cause headaches, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and breathing difficulty, among others. Long-term exposure can also cause cancer in humans.