Instant noodles recalled over cancer concerns are safe for consumption: Malaysia’s health ministry
The two products - Penang Ah Lai White Curry Noodles and Indomie Special Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles - complied with Malaysia's regulations, says the health director-general.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s health ministry on Tuesday (May 9) declared that the two types of instant noodles previously recalled in the country over concerns about carcinogens are safe for consumption.
The two products - Penang Ah Lai White Curry Noodles and Indomie Special Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles - were pulled from shelves after Taiwan authorities detected ethylene oxide, a chemical compound associated with lymphoma and leukaemia.
Malaysia has since carried out tests and found that the products comply with its regulations.
“Based on the laboratory analysis that has been carried out on (the) samples, … the Ministry of Health confirms that the products comply with the prescribed legislation and are safe to eat,” Malaysia's health director-general Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said in a statement.
According to Dr Radzi, the health ministry implements six levels of inspection on imported food products at the country’s entry points based on risks. Products that do not comply with the regulations are withdrawn from the market, he added.
“For Level 5 inspection which is Hold, Test and Release (TUL), food products entering the country will be held and analysed first.
“Only food products that comply with the standard are released for the Malaysian market,” he said.
He noted that from 2022 to April 2023, 37 out of 317 samples analysed under TUL were instant noodle products from various brands that were tested for ethylene oxide parameters.
On Apr 26, the health ministry ordered a recall of Penang Ah Lai White Curry Noodles and Indomie Special Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles.
It came two days after Taipei's Department of Health said batches of the products contained ethylene oxide. The findings were part of the city’s inspection of instant noodles in Taipei.
The products' importers will reportedly be fined between NT$60,000 (US$1,950) and NT$200 million.
According to information on the website of Taiwan’s Toxic and Chemical Substances Bureau under the Cabinet-level Environmental Protection Administration, ethylene oxide is poisonous when consumed or inhaled.
Bernama reported that aside from leading to lymphoma and leukaemia, ethylene oxide can also seriously irritate the skin and eyes of those who come into contact with the substance and can even trigger birth and hereditary defects.