- Due to the presence of ethylene oxide (EO), Ireland has just recalled an export shipment of Acecook Vietnam.
- Concerned ministries, branches and businesses in the food and beverage industry need to fully communicate to consumers for a long time.
- The recall of Hao Hao and Good vermicelli products in some countries is also a warning for food production and trading businesses that want to export to foreign markets.
According to a bulletin from the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) detailing (brand, weight, expiry date), due to the presence of ethylene oxide (EO), Ireland has just recalled an export shipment of Acecook Vietnam with two products as Hao Hao noodles with spicy and sour shrimp (77g, production date March 24, 2021) and Good vermicelli with pork rib flavor (56g, production date May 10, 2021) and a product originating from China, Yato Seafood noodles (120g, expiry date November 30, 2022).
That means not all of the company’s products contain EO and are subject to the recall. However, there are many online newspapers and KOLs posting misleading articles, causing confusion for the majority of consumers.
At the press conference on the afternoon of August 28 in Ho Chi Minh City, the representative of Acecook Vietnam explained: “The company absolutely complies with the regulations of not only Vietnam but all exporting countries. The two products made to Europe mentioned above are products exclusively for this market, not domestic products. All products circulating in the Vietnamese market comply with Vietnamese regulations, ensuring safety for consumers.”
After receiving the information posted by the FSAI, the Vietnam Trade Office in the United Kingdom immediately contacted the Ireland side to request to share detailed information to serve the inspection of the domestic regulatory agencies with the production process and quality management of Acecook Vietnam.
Mr. Nguyen Canh Cuong who is Counselor of the Vietnamese Ambassador to the UK said that this warning is not an executive decision but only a level 2 warning. In such cases, the distributor in Ireland will stop the sale and notify the point of sale of the recall of the sold product. Consumers can return purchased products and receive a refund according to the invoice.
Lessons learned after the incident
Through this story, concerned ministries, branches and businesses in the food and beverage industry need to fully communicate to consumers for a long time. Specifically, as in this case, EO is widely used for disinfection, including cleaning food materials. The European Union (including Ireland) does not accept packaged foods containing EO, but some major markets such as the US, Japan, and Korea do. In Vietnam, according to Circular 50/2016/TT-BYT of the Ministry of Health, EO is a substance that is not on the list of regulated maximum limits for pesticide residues in food.
The recall of Hao Hao and Good vermicelli products in some countries is also a warning for food production and trading businesses that want to export to foreign markets. Accordingly, enterprises must have a quality management system that meets EU standards not only for internal production and business processes but also to have effective solutions to ensure that all sources of raw materials supplied from outside are not contained prohibited residues.