Indian Spice Companies Face Contamination Accusations in Australia

Indian spice giants MDH and Everest face contamination allegations in Australia, Hong Kong, and Singapore, prompting recalls and regulatory scrutiny over the use of the carcinogenic chemical ethylene oxide.

Nitish Verma
New Update
Indian Spice Companies Face Contamination Accusations in Australia

Indian Spice Companies Face Contamination Accusations in Australia

Indian spice companies MDH and Everest are facing accusations of contamination in their products sold in Australia, following product recalls in Hong Kong and Singapore due to high levels of ethylene oxide, a cancer risk. The Australian food safety agency is examining the matter and considering further action, including a potential recall.

Hong Kong suspended sales of three MDH spice blends and an Everest fish curry mix, while Singapore ordered a recall of the Everest fish curry mix, citing the presence of ethylene oxide, which is unfit for human consumption. Ethylene oxide is not permitted to be used as a treatment for foods sold in Australia.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand, the Australian regulator, is working with international counterparts to determine if further action, including a recall, is required. The US FDA is also gathering additional information on the matter, and Indian authorities have recently inspected the plants of MDH and Everest.

Why this matters: The contamination accusations against popular Indian spice brands MDH and Everest raise concerns about food safety and the use of potentially harmful chemicals in imported products. The global reach of these companies means the matter could have widespread implications for consumers worldwide.

Both MDH and Everest have previously stated that their products are safe for consumption, but they did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the latest developments. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has announced plans to conduct surveillance on spices and culinary herbs in 2024-2025 to evaluate adherence to regulations.

The FSSAI stated that it sets science-based standards and that enforcement largely rests with state governments. However, the agency has not responded to queries about the specific steps taken to address the presence of ethylene oxide in spice products exported from India.

As the investigation continues, Australian authorities are working to assess the extent of the contamination problem and determine the suitable response to protect consumers. The recalls in Hong Kong and Singapore, along with the ongoing inquiries by international food safety agencies, underscore the seriousness of the accusations against MDH and Everest.

Key Takeaways

  • Indian spice firms MDH, Everest accused of ethylene oxide contamination in Australia
  • Hong Kong, Singapore recalled MDH, Everest products due to ethylene oxide presence
  • Australian regulator examining issue, considering recall; US FDA also gathering info
  • Contamination raises global food safety concerns for these popular Indian brands
  • India's FSSAI plans spice surveillance in 2024-2025 to evaluate regulatory compliance