MOH monitoring domestic situation after Haagen-Dazs ice cream recalled in Europe due to traces of carcinogen

Dr Noor Hisham

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KUCHING, Aug 11: Imported Haagen-Dazs brand ice cream products have been voluntarily recalled from the local market following notification of the items being recalled in Europe due to a carcinogenic substance called ethylene oxide (ETO) being detected in them, says Health Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah.

He said the Ministry of Health (MOH) is aware of the issue and continuous monitoring is being implemented to ensure that the products involved are not marketed in Malaysia.

“Since the issue was reported and the ministry received a notification in July, appropriate actions have been taken by the importing company to voluntarily recall the products involved,” he said.

According to the European Union Rapid Alerts Systems for Food and Feed (EURASAFF), he said, ice cream products from France that contain vanilla extract from Madagascar were found to have ETO above the permitted level.

Dr Noor Hisham explained that ETO is a chemical gas compound that is carcinogenic and is often used in fumigation or to kill pests such as insects.

“It is also used as an active ingredient in detergents but is not allowed to be used on surfaces coming into contact with food,” he said in a statement today.

He added that those who have any doubts about branded products being sold may contact the nearest district health office, inquire via the ministry’s website or their Bahagian Keselamatan dan Kualiti Makanan Facebook page. — Dayakdaily