FSSAI Initiates Spice Samples Collection Amidst Contamination Concerns

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New Delhi, 23rd April 2024: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has embarked on a nationwide sampling campaign targeting powdered spices from all brands, including industry giants MDH and Everest. This move comes in response to alarming alerts raised by authorities in Singapore and Hong Kong regarding potential contamination issues.

The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong recently detected traces of ethylene oxide, a pesticide variant classified as carcinogenic by The International Agency for Research on Cancer, in select spice products manufactured by MDH and Everest. Consequently, the CFS has issued directives to halt the sale of affected products and remove them from retail shelves.

According to notifications from the CFS, Singapore and Hong Kong have initiated recall procedures for certain Everest products, including the fish curry masala. Additionally, MDH’s Madras curry powder, sambhar masala, mixed masala powder, and curry powder have also been subject to recalls in Hong Kong.

Responding to these developments, a spokesperson for Everest clarified, “Reports of Everest products being banned in Singapore and Hong Kong are inaccurate. Everest products remain unrestricted in both countries. Singapore’s food safety authority merely referenced Hong Kong’s recall alert and requested our Singapore importer to temporarily hold and recall the product for inspection. This is a standard precautionary measure, not a ban. Only one out of Everest’s 60 products has been subjected to examination. We assure our customers of the safety of our products.”

The revelation of potential contamination in popular spice brands has sparked concerns among consumers and raised questions about the efficacy of safety standards in the food industry. As investigations continue and sampling efforts intensify, stakeholders are eagerly awaiting further updates and assurances regarding the safety of spice products in the market.