Indomie under investigation over cancer inducing chemicals
Indomie noodles brands in Nigeria will be investigated over allegations of cancer-inducing chemicals detected in the food in Malaysia and Taiwan.
According to the health and safety regulator in Nigeria, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), starting from Tuesday, random sample tests will be carried out on Indomie noodles and other brands.
Over the weekend, there were reports that colourless and odourless gas, Ethylene oxide, which is used to sterilise medical equipment and plastics, was found in some Indomie special chicken flavour noodles.
This was revealed by health officials in Malaysia and Taiwan, prompting NAFDAC to conclude on investigating the noodles produced by Dufil in Nigeria.
Dufil is also the producer of Minimie pasta, Minimie chinchin, Minimie Noodles, Power Pasta, and Power Oil, amongst others.
Although a member of the board of directors at Indofoods, the parent company of Indomie in Indonesia, Taufik Wiraatmadja, said the noodles produced by Indomie are safe for consumption.
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According to NAFDAC director-general, Mojisola Adeyeye, on Monday, the importation of noodles has been banned in Nigeria, as it was on the prohibition list.
“Tomorrow, May 2, 2023, NAFDAC’s food safety and applied nutrition directorate will randomly sample Indomie noodles (including the seasoning) from the production facilities while post-marketing surveillance directorate (will) samples from the markets,” Adeyeye said.
“The compound of interest is ethylene oxide, so the director, food lab services directorate, has been engaged. He is working on the methodology for the analysis,” she added.
“It should be noted that Indomie noodles have been banned from being imported into the country for many years. It is one of the foods on the government prohibition list. It is not allowed in Nigeria, and therefore not registered by NAFDAC.
“What we are doing is an extra caution to ensure that the product is not smuggled in and if so, our post-marketing surveillance would detect it. We also want to be sure that the spices used for the Indomie and other noodles in Nigeria are tested.
“That is what NAFDAC food safety and applied nutrition (FSAN) and post-marketing surveillance (PMS) are doing this week at the production facilities and in the market respectively. The public will be duly updated with the outcomes of the investigation.” Adeyeye said.