MANILA - The Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday said Monde Nissin, the manufacturers of a popular Filipino noodle brand, is compliant to the country's food safety laws.
In a statement, FDA said it conducted a series of meetings to evaluate a European Union report regarding the presence of ethylene oxide in certain batches of "Lucky Me!" instant noodles.
The FDA said ethylene oxide, which is present in the environment, is used to destroy salmonella in agricultural products traded internationally. It is likewise used in gas sterilization of surgical and medical equipment, including personal protective equipment.
"Consumption of foods containing residual ethylene oxide does not pose an acute risk to health. However, there is an emerging concern that continue exposure beyond the tolerable level over a long period of time may result in health issue," it said.
Although the EU adopted zero tolerance for ethylene oxide, the FDA explained that some other countries like the US, Canada and Singapore, assigned tolerance levels for residual ethylene oxide.
"In the Philippines, ethylene oxide gas is allowed for gas sterilization of certain agricultural products," it added.
The FDA assured the public that Monde Nissin is compliant with food safety laws in the Philippines, based on its latest inspections.
The FDA also said it is in the process of verifying the level of residual ethylene oxide in the packets of seasoning of Lucky Me! products.
"The FDA food inspectorate has already conducted spot check inspections and collected samples for laboratory analysis. The FDA shall wait for all information, including laboratory results, before taking further action," it said.
The FDA likewise said it is collaborating with other government agencies, the private sector, and the academe to update its science-based policies and regulations.
In separate advisories, the governments of Ireland, Malta, and France earlier recalled several variants of Lucky Me! noodle soup and pancit canton, particularly those manufactured between 2021 and 2022.
These variants include the original, hot chili, kalamansi, and chilimansi flavors of Lucky Me! Pancit Canton, as well as Lucky Me! beef mami flavor.
Monde Nissin has assured the public that all Lucky Me! products are registered with the Philippine Food and Drug Administration (FDA), complying with local food safety standards and "even the US FDA standards for ethylene oxide."