Home Health Indian spice mixtures may have been contaminated, according to an Australian authority.

Indian spice mixtures may have been contaminated, according to an Australian authority.

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As the most recent regulator to increase attention, Australia’s food safety agency stated on Tuesday that it is gathering information on the potential contamination of spice mixes produced by Indian companies MDH and Everest in order to determine whether a food recall is necessary.

This month, sales of three MDH spice mixes and an Everest mix for fish curry were suspended in Hong Kong. A recall of the same Everest mix was also requested by Singapore due to excessive quantities of ethylene oxide, which is dangerous for ingestion by humans and can cause cancer if exposed to high levels over time.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand released a statement saying, “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.”

It said, “Ethylene oxide is not permitted to be used as a treatment for foods sold in Australia.” One possible course of action would be a recall.

Requests for comment from Reuters were not immediately answered by MDH or Everest. They have previously declared that using their products is safe.

They sell their spice brands in Europe, Asia, and North America; they are among the most well-known in India.

While Indian officials have recently visited the MDH and Everest factories, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Friday that it is also gathering new information on the problem.

A few MDH product batches were recalled in the US in 2019 due to salmonella infection. Due to the same contamination concern, the FDA mandated the recall of two Everest spice blends in 2023.

India is the world’s largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices. Among the largest businesses in India’s spice sector, which Zion sector Research projects will be valued $10.44 billion in 2022, are MDH and Everest. According to the government, India exported goods worth $4 billion in 2022–2023.

Following the regulatory action, India announced last week that it had requested data on MDH and Everest shipments from authorities in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Without providing more details, the Indian embassy in Hong Kong was also notified “of the test results for follow-up actions,” according to a statement released by the city’s Center for Food Safety on Tuesday.

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