EU warns Vietnamese instant noodle products contain banned substance

By Anh Minh   July 23, 2022 | 05:00 am PT
EU warns Vietnamese instant noodle products contain banned substance
Bowls of instant noodles. Illustration photo by Shutterstock
Germany has issued warnings about certain imported Vietnamese instant noodle products that contain heightened levels of ethylene oxide, a banned substance.

The Vietnam Sanitary and Phytosanitary Notification Authority and Enquiry Point (SPS), under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said it had received warnings from the EU regarding certain instant noodle products exported by Vietnamese businesses.

Germany issued warnings about a chicken-flavored instant noodle product by Asiafoods Corporation for containing ethylene oxide levels higher than EU standards. Malta meanwhile issued a warning for a pho product by Nguyen Gia because it uses genetically modified rice.

A representative of the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Industry and Trade said the department is still verifying the food batch that drew warnings in Germany. The batch might have been exported since last year, when batches had yet to be imposed an ethylene oxide limit standard upon export, the representative said.

Since Feb. 17, the EU has demanded certificate requirements for instant noodle batches imported into the region. These batches would be checked for their ethylene oxide level after export, and so far, no batch has been returned.

Germany said the ethylene oxide level in the instant noodle products was two to three times the maximum standard allowed, according to the representative. The current ethylene oxide limit as required by the EU is 0.01 milligrams per kilogram.

In future, the department would take instant noodle product samples from the Vietnamese market to evaluate the presence of ethylene oxide and create a limit standard for the substance.

Last August, several batches of instant noodle products by Vietnamese businesses were also recalled by the EU for heightened levels of ethylene oxide.

Ethylene oxide is an organic compound with various applications, including disinfection and sterilization.

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