Lucky Me! maintains it followed FDA standards on chemical after countries issued health warnings

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 7) — The instant noodle brand Lucky Me! on Thursday said it complies with local food safety standards after some countries warned against consumption of its popular pancit canton products and ordered them recalled due to reportedly high levels of pesticide.

Lucky Me!, whose parent company is the Philippine-based Monde Nissin, explained its noodles may merely show traces of the antimicrobial pesticide ethylene oxide, which is used in its raw materials.

“We would like to clarify that ethylene oxide is not added in Lucky Me! products,” its statement read. “It is a commonly used treatment in spices and seeds to control microbial growth typical in agricultural products. These materials, when processed into seasoning and sauces, may still show traces of ethylene oxide.”

The brand said its instant noodles have been recalled in Taiwan and in some European countries.

However, it added that the same recall order affects other firms’ noodle brands and products, including ice cream, sesame seed, spices, and calcium carbonate supplements.

“Rest assured that all Lucky Me! products are Philippine FDA (Food and Drug Administration) registered and comply with local food safety standards and even the US FDA standards for ethylene oxide,” it also wrote.

Among countries that have issued a recall order on a batch of Lucky Me! noodles is Ireland. Information posted on its Food Safety Authority website showed the particular batch came from Thailand.

The government body noted the pesticide is not authorized for use in food sold in European Union nations, as it warned continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time may result in health issues.

Malta likewise advised against consuming the pancit canton instant noodles.

Meanwhile, Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire told a media briefing that the Philippines' FDA is already investigating the matter.

She said the regulatory agency has yet to verify the information from other countries so it can issue its own advisory to the public.

The health official explained that should the reports be confirmed, only the particularly affected batches will be recalled.

“Kung anuman po ang matagpuan ng ating Food and Drug Administration na talagang with the presence of this specific component or chemical, ‘yun lang po ang tatanggalin sa merkado,” Vergeire told reporters. “Pero katulad ng sabi ko nga kanina, aantayin po natin ‘yung resulta ng imbestigasyon na isinasagawa ng FDA.”

[Translation: Only the batches with the specific component or chemical detected by the FDA will be removed from the market. But as I said earlier, we will wait for the results of the FDA investigation.]

According to Vergeire, high concentrations of ethylene oxide may cause headache, nausea and vomiting, loose bowel movement, difficulty in breathing, and exhaustion, among other symptoms.