Ministry of Health: Recall of Häagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream due to ethylene oxide

The sale of Haagen-Dazs brand vanilla ice cream has been withdrawn from the market since last month after it was found to contain the carcinogen ethylene oxide (ETO) above the permitted level. — photo by Bernama

By Ashley Young

Thursday, August 11, 2022 5:52 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, August 10 – The vanilla flavor of Häagen-Dazs ice cream products contaminated with a substance called ethylene oxide (ETO) has been removed from Malaysian supermarket shelves, the chief health officer said today Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah.

In a statement today, Dr Noor Hisham cited the notification from the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, which said there had been a recall of cream products vanilla ice cream.

The ice cream products were imported from France and used vanilla extract from Madagascar, and were found to contain ETO above the permitted level.

“Since the issue was reported to the Malaysian Ministry of Health in July 2022, appropriate action has been taken when the importing companies voluntarily removed the affected ice cream products.

“There will also be ongoing monitoring to ensure the products are not sold in this country,” Dr Noor Hisham said in a statement today.

ETO is a gaseous chemical compound that is carcinogenic and is often used to perform fumigations to kill pests such as insects, he said.

It is also used as an active ingredient in detergents but is not permitted for use on surfaces that come into contact with food.

Dr Noor Hisham assured that the Ministry of Health is always aware and concerned about incidents that may threaten the health of consumers, and said questionable consumers can always contact the nearest district health office.

Inquiries can also be made through the website or the Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM) Facebook page at www.facebook. com/bkkmhq.

Many countries like Singapore have recalled the same product by Häagen-Dazs.

Maria J. Book