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Monde Nissin, DOH release statements on EU nations' ban of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton

By Ada Pelonia Published Jul 07, 2022 5:14 pm

European countries are recalling Lucky Me! Pancit Canton after high content of unauthorized pesticide ethylene oxide was found in its producer's labs.

The government agencies of Ireland, Malta, and France have issued respective notices urging the public not to consume the Monde Nissin noodles due to their "high content" of ethylene oxide, a pesticide often used for several industrial chemicals such as in agricultural products and sterilant for medical equipment.

Malta's Department of Information announced the news in a Facebook post on July 6, noting that the flavors of the pancit canton—original, hot chili, beef, kalamansi, and chilimansi—are not for consumption. The bureau also posted photos of the packets.

Screencap from Malta Department of Information Facebook page

Meanwhile, in a statement released by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland dated June 9, they said that ethylene oxide is not authorized in the European Union.  

"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,” their statement read.

"Therefore, exposure to this substance needs to be minimised. Point-of-sale recall notices will be displayed in stores supplied with the implicated batch."

On the other hand, Lucky Me! issued a statement saying that they are aware of the ongoing recall of their noodles because it reportedly has ethylene oxide.  

 "We would like to clarify that Ethylene Oxide is not added in Lucky Me! products," the noodle brand began. "It is a commonly used treatment in spices and seeds to control microbial growth typical in agricultural products. These materials, when processed into seasoning and sauces, may still show traces of Ethylene Oxide."

“Rest assured that all Lucky Me! products are Philippine FDA registered and comply with local food safety standards and even the US FDA standards for Ethylene Oxide," it added.

In a media briefing, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is already investigating the ethylene oxide that was allegedly found in the noodles brand as claimed by other European countries.

"We will give information in the coming days as to what was the results, what were the results of the investigation of the Food and Drug Administration," Vergeire said.