Everest spices and MDH have emerged as the storm’s center. Everest Fish Curry Masala was recalled by the Singapore Food Authority (SFA) after ethylene oxide levels were found to be “exceeding the permissible limit.” The removal of four spice blends—MDH Madras Curry Powder, MDH Sambhar Masala Powder, MDH Curry Powder, and Everest Fish Curry Masala—by Hong Kong officials came next. Ethylene oxide was given as the identical explanation by both nations.

Taken off the shelves are the masala mixes in Singapore and Hong Kong.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department of Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) stated on its website that it “collected the above-mentioned samples from three retail outlets in Tsim Sha Tsui, respectively, for testing under its routine food surveillance program.” According to the test results, ethylene oxide, a pesticide, was present in the samples. According to Hindustan Times, the CFS has notified the concerned vendors of the anomalies and given them instructions to cease sales and take the impacted products down off the shelves.

The CFS opened an investigation and gave vendors instructions to remove the affected products from their shelves. Additionally, the regulatory authority recommended that “appropriate measures” be put into place.
However, the Singapore Food Authority (SFA) clarified that while there was no immediate risk associated with ingestion, the presence of the aforementioned chemical could offer health hazards if done over an extended period of time.

Have MDH and Everest Spice Brands Reacted To The Prohibition?

In response to the debate, Everest Food Products Pvt said that Singapore and Hong Kong had not banned any of its spices.
We would want to emphasize that there are no restrictions on Everest in Singapore or Hong Kong, despite certain claims to the contrary. In neither nation has Everest been outlawed. Out of the 60 Everest goods, just one has been kept for analysis, a firm representative told NDTV Profit.

The representative stated that in response to Hong Kong’s alert, one of Everest’s goods has been “temporarily” suspended in Singapore.
The brand restated that its goods are “safe and of high quality.” “Everest maintains stringent hygiene and safety standards in its manufacturing facilities,” it stated.

India Requests Information From Singaporean and Hong Kongan Food Regulators

Authorities in Singapore and Hong Kong that oversee food safety have been contacted by India for information. Furthermore, the Indian embassies in Singapore and Hong Kong have been directed by the trade ministry to furnish a thorough report regarding the state of affairs.
The Indian companies MDH and Everest, whose products have been prohibited for allegedly having the pesticide “ethylene oxide” over permissible limits, have also been asked for information by the ministry.
“We have asked the corporations for information. An official from the commerce ministry stated, as quoted by PTI, “The exporters involved and I will determine the root cause of the rejection and take corrective action accordingly.”

Ethylene Oxide: What Is It?

At room temperature, ethylene oxide is a colorless, combustible gas with a pleasant smell. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that its main function is in the synthesis of other compounds, such as ethylene glycol, which is used as antifreeze.
Moreover, ethylene oxide is used in the production of solvents, polyurethane foam, textiles, detergents, and adhesives. It is used in culinary spices as a fumigant to stop microbiological contamination from pathogens like Salmonella and E. Coli.

Ethylene oxide works as a good sterilizer because, according to NCI, it can damage DNA. As such, it is used in hospitals to sterilize surgical instruments.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that women’s risk of breast cancer and lymphoid cancer can be elevated by exposure to ethylene oxide. It is considered dangerous and should not be consumed by humans.

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