Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said Friday that six imported Godiva ice cream products must be removed immediately from all store shelves, as they have been found to contain a banned pesticide.
In a statement, the FDA said the recall order was based on a similar decision Thursday by Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety, which said it had been notified by the relevant European Union body that the pesticide ethylene oxide had been identified in Godiva ice cream products shipped from France.
Over the past year, a total of 89.8 tons of Godiva ice cream products have been imported into Taiwan, the FDA said, adding that it has seized 70.6 tons of the stock and is recalling the other 19.2 tons.
On Friday, the FDA said, it also received a notice from the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF), warning that the stabilizer in six Godiva ice products was contaminated with the banned pesticide.
The FDA said it has submitted a request to the ice cream maker, Godiva Chocolatier, to stop sales of the six products and provide Taiwan with an inventory of their contents.
The six contaminated ice cream products being recalled were named as Godiva's 100 milliliter packets of chocolate cheese, milk chocolate frozen confection with dark chocolate, Belgian dark chocolate, vanilla flavored cocoa infused ice cream, caramel coffee frozen confection with dark chocolate chips, and strawberry with dark chocolate chips.
Yen Tsung-hai (???), Chang Gung Hospital's Clinical Poison Center director, told the Taiwan media Friday that ethylene oxide is a widely used industrial product, and it was not clear how the Godiva ice cream became contaminated with it.
Ethylene oxide is a first-class carcinogen, he said, adding that long-term exposure can increase the risk of cancer and cause central nervous or peripheral neuropathy.
Even though it is not yet known what concentration of ethylene oxide was found in the Godiva ice creams, it is better to recall the products as a preventative measure, Yen said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel