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FDA: Importer voluntarily recalls 'tainted' Korean noodles

November 1, 2012 8:06am
A row over potentially tainted Korean instant noodles in the Philippines may be one step closer to being resolved,  after the importer of the products is voluntarily recalling them from the market.

Food and Drug Administration acting director Kenneth Hartigan-Go on Wednesday indicated six products are covered by the voluntary recall, which stemmed from the finding of benzopyrene in the products.

"(L)icensed importers of the affected instant Korean Noodles manufactured by Nong Shim Co. Ltd. (are) to conuct a voluntary recall of the subject products," Hartigan-Go said.

"The DOH-DFA assures the public it shall continuously monitor the safety of food products in the country" he added.

He noted the Korean Food and Drug Administration had detected benzopyrene in the products made by Nong Shim Co. Ltd.

But he said the licensed importers of the products in the Philippines agreed to conduct a voluntary recall of the products.

Covered by the recall are:

1. Nongshim Neoguri (Hot), expiration dates Oct. 22 to Nov. 11, 2012
2. Nongshim Neoguri (Hot) Multi, expiration dates Oct. 22 to Nov. 11, 2012
3. Nongshim Neoguri (Mild), expiration dates Oct. 28 to Nov. 17, 2012
4. Nongshim Big Bowl Noodle Shrimp, expiration dates Nov. 4 to 29, 2012 and Jan. 1 to 30, 2013 (made in Busan only)
5. Nongshim Saengsaeng Udon Bowl Noodle, expiration dates Sept. 30 to Oct. 22, 2012
6. Nongship Saengsaeng Udon, expiry dates Aug. 28 to Oct. 8, 2012

Last Sunday, an ecological group claimed to have detected potentially cancer-causing substances in Korean ramen sold in local Korean stores in Metro Manila.

The EcoWaste Coalition said the products in question had been recalled by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) on Oct. 25 as these contain benzopyrene, a cancer-causing substance.

Also it said the products are still on store shelves of Korean specialty shops in Makati and Quezon Cities.

Last Thursday, the KFDA recalled nine types of instant noodles, including six made by Nongshim Co. Ltd., after detecting benzopyrene in the powdered seasonings.

Ordered withdrawn from the market were Nongshim's Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles (large and small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large) and Seng Seng Udong.

But EcoWaste said it bought Mild Neoguri, Spicy Neoguri, Neoguri Cup Noodles (small), Saewootang Cup Noodles (large) and Seng Seng Udong from local Korean stores.

Hong Kong food safety findings

The Hong Kong Center for Food Safety on Tuesday said its test results showed no carcinogen in recently collected samples.

"According to information provided by the agent, five of those six 'Nong Shim' instant noodle products manufactured in Korea were available for sale in Hong Kong. The CFS promptly collected samples of the five products concerned as well as three other instant noodle products produced in Korea by the same manufacturer for testing. The test results showed that all of the samples did not contain carcinogenic benzopyrene," a spokesman for the CFS said.

The CFS said Korean authorities had detected benzopyrene in a batch of smoked fish at a level exceeding the Korean legal limit in June 2012.

"Since Nong Shim Company Ltd. had purchased that particular batch of smoked fish for use as an ingredient, the company was requested to take follow-up actions. The company later announced that certain batches of six kinds of instant noodle products would be recalled," the spokesman said.

However, the spokesman said the agent still decided to voluntarily remove all imported batches of the five products concerned from shelves "to allay public concern associated with the incident." — LBG, GMA News
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