A white curry instant noodles brand from Malaysia has been found to contain carcinogens by health authorities in Taiwan.
This comes after Taipei’s Department of Health released the results of the city’s 2023 inspection of instant noodles available in the capital city, reported Focus Taiwan.
Ethylene oxide found in M’sian instant noodles brand
According to a statement by the health department, it said that a batch of “Ah Lai White Curry Noodles” from Malaysia was found to contain ethylene oxide, a hazardous chemical compound linked to lymphoma and leukemia.
An Indonesian brand was also found to contain the same poisonous compound, where the noodles’ name was “Indomie: Special Chicken Flavour”.
Tests showed that ethylene oxide was present in both the noodles and flavor packets of the Malaysian brand, whereas it was only detected in the flavor packet of the Indonesian brand.
The retailer has since been instructed to remove the two products from the shelves, while the importers will be slapped with fines ranging from NT$60,000 (RM8,700) to NT$200 million (RM 28.98 million).
Chen Yi-ting, head of the Taipei Department of Health’s Food and Drug Division, stated that the city’s instant noodles inspection involved randomly selecting 30 products from various sources, including supermarkets, convenience stores, hypermarkets, traditional wet markets, Southeast Asian food shops, and wholesale importers.
Manufacturer reacts to report
Following the report, the manufacturer behind “Ah Lai White Curry Noodles” has vehemently denied that the product contains ethylene oxide, stating that it had passed rigorous testing before being sold.
Speaking to Oriental Daily anonymously, the manufacturer said the product was sold in multiple countries such as Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Canada, Japan, and Macau without any issues.
Before our products are launched in the market, they are sent to the laboratory for inspection. Only after passing the inspection will they be launched in the market. If there are any problems, our company will not sell the product.
“While the company received a notification from an importer about inspection issues about a month ago, we requested the inspection report from Taiwan three times and have not received it yet,” it said.
Nevertheless, the manufacturer said it had sent the noodles back to the laboratory for further testing.
According to the US’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ethylene oxide can cause a host of both short-term (shortness of breath, diarrhea) and long-term negative health effects (cancer, reproductive problems)