Australian regulator weighs India spice mix issue for possible recall

Published: Apr 30, 2024


Australia's food safety agency said on Tuesday it was weighing accusations of contamination about some spice mixes sold by Indian companies MDH and Everest to decide if a food recall was required, becoming the latest regulator to step up scrutiny.

Hong Kong suspended sales this month of three MDH spice blends and an Everest mix for fish curry. Singapore ordered a recall of the Everest mix as well, flagging high levels of ethylene oxide, which is unfit for human consumption and a cancer risk on long exposure.

"We are working with international counterparts to understand the issue and with federal, state and territory food enforcement agencies to determine if further action is required in Australia," Food Standards Australia New Zealand told Reuters.

Such action could include a recall, it said in its statement, adding, "Ethylene oxide is not permitted to be used as a treatment for foods sold in Australia."

MDH and Everest did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment. They have previously said their products are safe for consumption.

Their brands, among the most popular in India, are also sold in Europe, Asia and North America.

The US FDA is gathering additional information on the matter, while Indian authorities have recently inspected the plants of MDH and Everest.

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