Specific variants of Lucky Me! instant noodles 'safe for consumption'---FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that four variants of the popular instant noodle brand Lucky Me! are safe for consumption.

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The FDA said that Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Extra Hot Chili, Pancit Canton Regular, Pancit Canton Chilimansi, and Instant Mami Beef Regular are safe to eat. Presence of ethylene oxide was not found in these products, it said.

In a statement, the FDA said it coordinated with the local manufacturer of this instant noodle brand "to determine the levels of ethylene oxide in the food products."

"The local manufacturer of the Lucky Me! Brand Noodle Products reported to the FDA that, based on tests conducted by an independent laboratory in Vietnam, ethylene oxide was not detected in the samples submitted for the following variants: Pancit Canton Extra Hot Chili, Pancit Canton Regular, Pancit Canton Chilimansi and Instant Mami Beef Regular. These Lucky Me! instant noodle variants are safe for consumption," the agency said in a statement on Friday, July 15.

"However, ethylene oxide was found in the Lucky Me! Pancit Canton Kalamansi variant at a level below the EU acceptable level of 0.02 mg/kg," the FDA noted.

"In this regard, the FDA will study this matter to determine the appropriate risk management strategy in consultation with other government agencies, like the Department of Agriculture (DA)," the agency said.

To recall, the governments of Ireland, Malta, and France recently issued health warnings against specific Lucky Me! products as "high levels of ethylene oxide" were supposedly found in these products.

“It must be emphasized that the affected batches containing ethylene oxide were manufactured in Thailand. They were not locally produced and were not distributed in the Philippines,” the FDA said.

The FDA said ethylene oxide is used as "treatment against the microbiological contamination of some spices and dried aromatic herbs like sesame seeds."

The agency said that based on the international alerts, "the contaminated product does not pose an immediate risk to health."

"However, exposure to the substance should be minimized as ‘there may be health issues if there is continued consumption of ethylene oxide over a long period of time,"’ it said.