Mi Sedaap Noodles Pesticide Scare: How did Hong Kong know 9 days before us?

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Thursday, 6 October 2022 directed Sheng Sheng F&B Industries Pte Ltd to recall 2 Mi Sedaap flavours due to the presence of the pesticide ethylene oxide. The move comes 9 days after Hong Kong’s Centre for Food Safety (CFS) took similar action against 1 Mi Sedaap flavour on Tuesday, 27 Sep 2022.

According to SFA’s press release, ethylene oxide is a pesticide that is not authorised for use in food. The CFS press release states that The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies ethylene oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen.

mi sedaap - packet of mee
Credit – SFA

CFS’s Hong Kong recall affects Mi Sedaap Korean Spicy Chicken Flavour instant noodles with a best-before date of 19 May 2023.

mi sedaap - mi packet
Credit – SFA

SFA’s Singapore recall affects Mi Sedaap Korean Spicy Chicken Flavour instant noodles with a best-before date of 21 May 2023 and Mi Sedaap Korean Spicy Soup Flavour instant noodles with a best-before date of 17 Mar 2023.

Questions arise about the 9-day gap between the Hong Kong recall and the Singapore one. Could our local authorities have acted earlier? Singaporeans were likely consuming pesticide-tainted food during that period while Hong Kong consumers had already been notified.

The delay is put into sharper focus because it comes on the heels of the detection of ethylene oxide in Haagen-Dazs ice cream products in July and August 2022. SFA was ahead of the curve on that as their July advisory preceded a similar recall of Haagen-Dazs in New Zealand.

It would be logical to assume that the authorities would be especially vigilant given the Haagen-Dazs scare. While the SFA does deal with a very large number of products, it seems that monitoring international developments would have allowed Singaporeans to have been informed at least 1 week earlier.

We reached out to SFA for comment but they were unable to respond to us by the time of publication.

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