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Singapore orders recall of 'Everest Fish Curry Masala' over pesticide issue
Everest | Pesticide
Image Credit: Pixabay

Singapore orders recall of 'Everest Fish Curry Masala' over pesticide issue

| @indiablooms | 20 Apr 2024, 10:15 pm

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has issued a recall order for India’s ‘Everest Fish Curry Masala’ due to the presence of ethylene oxide, an unauthorized pesticide, found over acceptable limits.

The Times of India (TOI) reported that consumers are advised against consuming the product.

The importer Sp Muthiah & Sons has been instructed by SFA to recall the affected products, a release dated April 18 said.

Established by the late Vadilal Bhai Shah over 57 years ago, the brand is India’s largest producer of pure and blended spices, with a presence in over 80 countries globally.

This action follows a similar alert from the Centre for Food Safety (CFS) in Hong Kong, which detected ethylene oxide in several spice products, including MDH and Everest brands.

On April 5, the CFS disclosed that samples of various pre-packaged spice mixes contained ethylene oxide, classified as a Group-1 carcinogen.

The food regulatory body of Hong Kong found that three MDH products—Madras Curry Powder (spice blend for Madras Curry), Sambhar Masala Mixed Masala Powder, and Curry Powder Mixed Masala Powder—as well as Everest Fish Curry Masala contained the pesticide ethylene oxide, which is classified as a Group-1 carcinogen.

“The Centre for Food Safety (CFS) of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department announced today that samples of several kinds of prepackaged spice mix products were found to contain a pesticide, ethylene oxide,” the CFS said in its statement on April 5.

Responding to TOI, the company asserted its commitment to stringent quality checks and compliance with regulatory standards.

However, the company said it would readily address any issues pending official communication.

Everest, a major player in India’s branded spices sector along with MDH Spices and Catch Foods, is valued by analysts at more than Rs 20,000 crore and has received endorsements from Bollywood icons such as Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan, said media reports.

The brand’s current revenues are estimated to surpass Rs 3,000 crore.

The sale of fish curry masala does not significantly contribute to Everest’s overall sales, indicating that the recall is unlikely to have a significant impact on its business, according to sources cited in the report.

Since ages, spices have always had a huge significance in India’s economy and its cultural influence is highlighted by its top role in spice production, consumption, and export.

The crucial role of spices in food consumption highlights the need to maintain high-quality standards in spice production to comply with the standards set by global food regulators.

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