Vietnam safe from recalled EU products: Japanese instant noodles maker

By Thi Ha   August 28, 2021 | 10:39 pm PT
Vietnam safe from recalled EU products: Japanese instant noodles maker
Several packages of Acecook's Hao Hao instant noodles as sold in Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Thi Ha
Japanese instant noodles maker Acecook claims its products in Vietnam are safe after Ireland’s recall of some of its products over the presence of a banned substance.

On Aug. 20, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) announced that batches of the Hao Hao and Good brand noodles were being recalled after they were found to contain ethylene oxide, which is banned from food products in the EU.

Kajiwara Junichi, general director of Acecook Vietnam, said the firm has abided by all the rules in Vietnam and in all the countries that it exports noodles to.

"The two products exported to Europe are exclusive to that market and are not domestic products. All available products in Vietnam abide by Vietnamese regulations and are safe for consumers," he said.

Acecook exports to 40 countries and territories, and the problem has only been reported in Ireland, he noted.

The firm has contacted its suppliers and they have asserted they do not use ethylene oxide during production, he said, adding that Acecook Vietnam does not allow the use of ethylene oxide in any production process.

On ethylene oxide, Junichi said the substance is widely used to sterilize medical equipment and certain food products. It is accepted by certain countries like the U.S. and Canada, he noted, adding that an investigation is ongoing to ensure the products' quality and safety.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade said it was verifying the information, and has requested Acecook Vietnam to report on its production processes and procedures, explaining also the difference between products consumed domestically and those exported.

All Acecook Vietnam products circulating in the country are also being reviewed, the ministry added.

A 2019 Nikkei Asia report said that Acebook was a leader in Vietnam with 50 percent of the instant noodles market share.

Vietnam is the world's third largest instant noodles market with over 7.03 billion servings consumed last year, up two places from a year before.

The country currently has around 50 companies, both domestic and foreign, producing instant noodles. Instant pho and other noodles made in Vietnam are available in more than 40 markets.

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