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Business News/ Companies / News/  Everest says spice mixes are ‘safe for consumption' after regulator order in Singapore, ban in Hong Kong
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Everest says spice mixes are ‘safe for consumption' after regulator order in Singapore, ban in Hong Kong

This comes after Singaporean authorities directed an importer to recall a product for inspection, and Hong Kong banned sale of the product due to cancer risk concerns. Indian food authorities have also initiated quality checks on Everest products.

Hong Kong and Singapore have found ethylene oxide, a potential cancer-causing agent, in MDH and Everest spice products (Pexels)Premium
Hong Kong and Singapore have found ethylene oxide, a potential cancer-causing agent, in MDH and Everest spice products (Pexels)

Everest Food Products, manufacturer of popular spice mixes on April 23 reassured consumers that its products remain safe for consumption.

This statement followed directions from authorities in Singapore asking an importer to recall a product for inspection after Hong Kong banned the sale of the product due to cancer risk concerns.

Following regulatory actions taken in both Hong Kong and Singapore, Indian food authorities also initiated quality checks on Everest products on April 22.

Also Read | Do MDH, Everest masala cause cancer? Why have Hong Kong, Singapore banned some Indian spices? Explained

"Exports are cleared only after receiving necessary clearances and approval from the laboratories of the Spice Board of India. Singapore held only one of 60 Everest products for examination," company director Rajiv Shah said. He added that the company's products are safe and ruled out the need for concern.

Concerns About Cancer-Causing Pesticide

The catalyst for regulatory action was Everest's fish curry masala, which was alleged to contain elevated levels of a cancer-causing pesticide. Singapore's food agency issued a warning on April 18 regarding Everest's fish curry spice mix, advising that "consumers who have purchased the implicated product are advised not to consume it".

Also Read | Singapore recalls Everest fish curry masala imported from India as presence of pesticides exceed permissible limits

This development coincided with Hong Kong's suspension of sales this month of three spice blends from another prominent company, MDH, which is also undergoing quality checks in India.

Hong Kong and Singaporean authorities highlighted concerns this month regarding alleged high levels of ethylene oxide in some products from Everest and MDH.

Also Read | India to test masala brands for cancer-causing pesticide

Ethylene oxide is deemed unsuitable for human consumption, with prolonged exposure posing a cancer risk.

Spices from both Everest and MDH have been staples in home and restaurant kitchens across the Indian subcontinent for many years. Everest's spice mixes are also exported to various regions including Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 23 Apr 2024, 01:49 PM IST
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