Manila, Philippines – Lucky Me, a line of noodle brands in the Philippines under the Monde Nissin corporation, has been recently banned in the European countries namely France, Ireland, and Malta due to the presence of a pesticide compound in said products.
According to multiple reports, the said batch of noodles contain ethylene oxide, a hazardous carcinogenic gas that has been reported to cause headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, among others. Said batches were reportedly manufactured in Thailand, with an expiration date of July 20, 2022.
In a statement published by Malta’s Environmental Health Directorate, the ‘Lucky Me’ brands that are banned include ‘Pancit Canton Original Flavour’, ‘Pancit Canton Hot Chilli Flavour’, ‘Lucky Me Instant Noodle Soup Beef Flavour’, ‘Pancit Canton Kalamansi Flavour’, and ‘Pancit Canton Chilimansi Flavour’. The report noted that these noodle batches have high levels of ethylene oxide.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s Food Safety Authority published a statement of the recall of only the ‘Pancit Canton Original Flavour’ brand, saying that “although the consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health, there may be health issues if there is continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time”.
Lastly, France’s Rappel Conso noted the ban of flavours ‘Pancit Canton Original Flavour’, ‘Pancit Canton Hot Chilli Flavour’, ‘Lucky Me Instant Noodle Soup Beef Flavour’, ‘Pancit Canton Kalamansi Flavour’, and ‘Pancit Canton Chilimansi Flavour’ in their recent statement.
Ethylene oxide, aside from its pesticide use, has been used as a sterilising agent as well as in the production of other chemicals such as antifreeze. The chemical has been banned in the European Union since 1991 as a pesticide and since 2011 as an output product in food and feed production.
This was not the first time ‘Lucky Me’ has been banned for containing hazardous chemicals in their food products. Recently, Taiwanese authorities have seized ‘Lucky Me Curly Spaghetti’ products, alongside Indonesia’s Mie Sedaap cup noodles, for the same pesticide residue.
Following the health advisories released by said countries, Lucky Me published a statement on their Facebook page, noting that ethylene oxide is not added in their products but rather used as a treatment in seeds and spices used in ingredients. Once they are processed alongside seasonings and sauces, trace amounts of said compound are still left.
“Rest assured that all Lucky Me products are Philippine FDA-registered and comply with local food safety standards and even the US FDA standards for ethylene oxide,” the company stated.
This article has been updated.