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Belgian agency recalls more products over food safety concerns

FASFC - FAVV - AFSCA logo pictured during a press conference of the Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain (FASFC - FAVV - AFSCA) to present the year results, Friday 03 July 2020 in Brussels. (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
06:55 17/08/2021

‎Federal food safety agency Afsca has added more products to a growing list of those being recalled from Belgian shelves due to significant levels of ethylene oxide. On Monday, the agency included a selection of ice creams from the French frozen food company Picard on the list as well as an instant noodle soup from the Vietnamese Acecook brand. In addition, Afsca also withdrew a dietary supplement from Physalis.

The agency began removing products containing high levels of ethylene oxide, a gaseous disinfectant which is used to prevent mold in June, but the number of recalls has risen significantly since the end of July.

Ethylene oxide is regularly found in cakes, ice cream and fish fillets. So far, the list of recalled products mainly features ice creams such as Snickers, Twix, Bounty and M&M's produced by the Mars company, various own brand ices from Carrefour, Delhaize and Cora, and the Paw Patrol ice creams from the Zagazoe brand.

Other foodstuffs such as Kiri cheese spreads, a number of cereal bars produced by Savéa, and the tomato ketchup, curry ketchup and martino sauces produced by La William have been included. A full list of products being recalled can be found on the agency’s dedicated page.

Afsca asks members of the public not to consume these products and to bring them back to the point of sale where they were purchased.

The use of ethylene oxide is prohibited in Europe, but not in some third countries. In the long term and in high doses, ethylene oxide can be carcinogenic, although in smaller quantities it does not represent a danger. However, Afsca experts have determined that if someone were to consume these non-compliant products regularly and in large quantities, there would be a risk to their health.

 

Written by Nick Amies