“Report: Food Safety Authority to Conduct Testing on MDH and Everest Spices”

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has initiated quality inspections on products from renowned Indian spice brands MDH and Everest Group following allegations of containing a cancer-causing pesticide. This action comes in the wake of Hong Kong’s ban on the sale of these brands after detecting the presence of ethylene oxide, a harmful pesticide known to cause cancer.

According to a Reuters report quoting a senior official, the FSSAI’s inspections will specifically test for ethylene oxide, a pesticide deemed unfit for human consumption due to its carcinogenic properties. The government’s swift response follows Hong Kong’s ban on MDH and Everest spices, which are widely popular in Indian kitchens, citing the detection of ethylene oxide in several spice mixes.

The Centre For Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong collected samples of MDH’s ‘Madras Curry Powder’, ‘Sambhar Masala Powder’, and ‘Curry Powder’, along with Everest Group’s ‘Fish Curry Masala’ for routine food surveillance testing. Upon finding traces of the pesticide, the CFS instructed vendors to cease selling these products and remove them from shelves.

Hong Kong’s food safety regulations categorize ethylene oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen, emphasizing that food containing pesticide residues must not pose health risks to consumers. Violators face substantial fines and imprisonment upon conviction.

The repercussions of these findings have extended to Singapore, where the importer of these spices has been directed to recall the products. The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has advised consumers who have consumed the implicated products and have health concerns to seek medical advice.

MDH, founded by Dharampal Gulati in 1959, and Everest, founded by Vadilal Shah, have a significant global presence, exporting their products to regions such as the US, Europe, UK, and the Middle East. This incident underscores the critical importance of stringent food safety measures and the need for thorough quality checks to safeguard consumer health.

Sources By Agencies

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