Ethylene oxide was found in both noodles and flavour packet of Malaysian product, according to the Taiwanese authority, but only in the flavour packet of the Indonesian product.

The Health Ministry has discovered ethylene oxide contamination in 11 different varieties of Mi Sedaap instant noodles imported from Indonesia, and has advised consumers not to consume these products because doing so could be harmful to their health.

Following reports of ethylene oxide contamination last year, the ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division has been keeping an eye on the brands of instant noodles available in the local market, according to Datuk Dr. Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan, director-general of health.

It was discovered that 11 samples of Mi Sedaap products contained ethylene oxide as a result of monitoring 36 samples of instant noodle products from different brands sold locally from 2022 to the present, he said in a statement today.

He added that the affected products have been removed from the market and that court action and compounds have been issued. He described ethylene oxide as a carcinogenic chemical gas compound that is frequently used to kill insects and other pests.

Although it is not permitted to be used on surfaces that come into contact with food, it is also used as an active ingredient in detergents, he added. He gave the general public the advice not to consume any of the impacted products.

The Taiwan Health Authority recently reported that the products contain ethylene oxide, and Dr. Muhammad Radzi added that the ministry has ordered two instant noodle companies to voluntarily remove two other brands from the market.

One of them is Ah Lai White Curry Noodles from Penang, which is made locally; the other is Indomie Special Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles, which is made abroad. According to Dr. Muhammad Radzi, the Ah Lai White Curry Noodle brand complies with regional laws, according to tests conducted by the ministry on samples of the product.

The relevant batch of the Penang Alai White Curry Mi [sic] product, which has an expiration date of August 25, 2023, has been voluntarily recalled from the local market, the Ministry has instructed the company to do so, he said, in order to ensure the ongoing food safety control.

Dr. Muhammad Radzi stated tha the ministry has also mandated a similar voluntary recall of imports of Indomie Special Chicken Flavour instant noodles while tests are conducted at all points of entry into Malaysia.

Following reports that Taipei’s Department of Health had discovered the chemical compound linked to lymphoma and leukaemia in a batch of Ah Lai White Curry Noodles made in Malaysia and a batch of Indomie Special Chicken Flavour instant noodles made in Indonesia, the dangers of ethylene oxide have recently come under the spotlight.

Ethylene oxide was found in both the noodles and flavour packet of the Malaysian product, according to the Taiwanese authority, but only in the flavour packet of the Indonesian product.

According to a spokesman for Ah Lai White Curry Noodles, the company sent samples for carcinogen testing in response to the Taiwanese discovery because it was the first time its products had been flagged since the programme began in 2014.

The Taipei Department of Health was mentioned in a news report yesterday by the unnamed company spokesman as saying, “They have not shown us their results or the samples they used but we do not think they used our instant noodles.” This is because the expiry date of the noodles did not match the ones we sent to Taiwan last year when we asked them what samples were used.