Singapore follows Hong Kong in recalling Indian-made spice over pesticide concerns


19th April 2024 – (Singapore) Singaporean authorities have mandated the recall of the imported Indian spice blend, Everest Fish Curry Masala, due to its contamination with ethylene oxide, a chemical exceeding the safety limits set for food products. This action mirrors a similar recall initiated by Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety, which first flagged the excessive pesticide levels in the product.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) confirmed on Thursday that it had instructed the local importer, Sp Muthiah & Sons Pte. Ltd., to remove the product from shelves and initiate a recall. The agency highlighted the risk posed by ethylene oxide, a pesticide primarily used for fumigating agricultural commodities to curb microbial contamination. Although the use of ethylene oxide as a sterilising agent in spices is permitted under specific conditions in Singapore, the levels detected in the Everest product were significantly above those deemed safe.

“Following the notification from the Centre for Food Safety in Hong Kong, the Singapore Food Agency has taken immediate action to ensure the safety of our food supply,” an SFA spokesperson stated. “We urge consumers who have purchased this product to refrain from using it and to return it to their point of purchase.”

Ethylene oxide is not authorised for direct use in foods. Long-term exposure to this chemical can pose serious health risks, including potential carcinogenic effects. The SFA has advised consumers who have already consumed the product and feel unwell to consult medical professionals.

As of now, there has been no response from Everest regarding the recall. The silence from the Indian manufacturer has left consumers looking for reassurance about the quality and safety of their products.