Food safety checks are a normal occurrence.
Philippine social media was abuzz because of pancit canton earlier this month. Several countries posted notices about finding ethylene oxide in Lucky Me Pancit Canton.
Taiwan, Ireland, Malta, and France issued separate recalls of various Lucky Me products. The notices from three EU countries prompted seven more member-states to follow suit. This is because the EU has one of the highest food safety standards in the world.
What is ethylene oxide?
Ethylene oxide is a man-made chemical with disinfectant properties. It has many uses across various industries. These include protecting plants from insects and preserving food for export.
Exposure to ethylene oxide may cause diarrhea, difficulty breathing, headaches, vomiting, and weakness.
The clamor around Lucky Me Pancit Canton
Online clamor heightened as more and more outlets propagated the news. Many asked if Lucky Me is safe to eat. Some went on to say they won’t eat that brand of instant noodles anymore.
In a statement, Lucky Me Philippines assured consumers that it’s safe to eat. The Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines also investigated the matter.
Why you should brush off the debacle
While food safety is an important issue, many reactions to the Lucky Me debacle were over the top. Quality checks are a normal occurrence in the food industry. In fact, Australia also recalled Haagen Dazs because of ethylene oxide contamination. This was around the same time as the EU’s recall of Lucky Me products.
Many people also missed something about the EU notices. The Lucky Me products in question were manufactured in Thailand. So, while ethylene oxide was present in those products, it didn’t mean Lucky Me in the Philippines had it too.
Consume Lucky Me Pancit Canton in moderation
Product recalls don’t have to mean cutting specific food out of your eating habits.
It’s like how you shouldn’t eat too much sushi because of mercury content. It’s also like how you stop eating shellfish for a short while when there’s a notice of red tide. You don’t have to end your love affair with food, but rather consume it in moderation.
“Consumption of the contaminated product does not pose an acute risk to health. But there may be health issues if consumption continues over a long period of time. So exposure must be minimized,” the Food Safety Authority of Ireland said.
Mind you, the FDA clarified that all locally-made Lucky Me Pancit Canton products are safe to eat.
Featured Image Macky Arquilla