Economy & Business

    Everest says its spices are safe after regulators' warnings

    The Hawk
    April23/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Everest Food Products assures its spices are safe after a recall in Singapore and a sales ban in Hong Kong over cancer risk concerns. The company stresses all exports pass rigorous checks by the Spice Board of India.

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    Hyderabad: Indian manufacturer Everest Food Products said on Tuesday its spices were safe for consumption after Singapore authorities asked an importer to recall a product for inspection, following a sales ban in Hong Kong, which warned of a cancer risk.

    Everest's spice mixes are exported to countries across Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East, but Indian food authorities ordered quality checks on Monday following regulatory action in Hong Kong and Singapore.

    "Exports are cleared only after receiving necessary clearances and approval from the laboratories of the Spice Board of India," company director Rajiv Shah said in a statement, adding its products were safe and ruling out need for concern.

    Singapore had held only one of 60 Everest products for examination, he said.

    The item prompting regulators' action was the company's fish curry masala, alleged to contain high levels of a cancer-causing pesticide.

    Hong Kong also halted sales this month of three spice blends from another popular company, MDH, which faces similar quality checks in India, Reuters reported.

    The companies are in the spotlight after authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore said this month some of their products allegedly contained high levels of ethylene oxide, which is unfit for human consumption, with long exposure a cancer risk.

    "Consumers who have purchased the implicated product are advised not to consume it," Singapore's food agency said on April 18 about Everest's fish curry spice mix, urging consumers to seek medical advice if worried.

    Spices from both Everest and MDH have been used in home and restaurant kitchens in the subcontinent for years.