(UPDATE) Lucky Me! said Thursday its products comply with local and U.S. food safety standards after Ireland, France and Malta flagged its pancit canton and beef noodles for high levels of pesticide ethylene oxide.
France and Ireland have recalled specific batches of Lucky Me! products while Malta warned against certain import batches of Lucky Me! products. Irish authorities said prolonged consumption of ethylene oxide could cause health issues.
LUCKY ME, EXPLAINED:
"We would like to clarify that Ethylene Oxide is not added in Lucky Me! products. It is a commonly used treatment in spices and seeds to control microbial growth typical in agricultural products. These materials, when processed into seasoning and sauces, may still show traces of ethylene oxide," Lucky Me! said in a statement.
The Philippine Food and Drug Administration is verifying reports of the product recall, the Department of Health said.
"Wala pa tayo pinapa-hold as we are still verifying the report and getting details," Usec. Maria Rosario Vergeire told reporters.
Ethylene oxide can be used as sterilant for food products, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The chemical is flammable and is also used to make antifreeze and polyester, the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information said.
Exposure to the chemical could cause headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, drowsiness, weakness, exhaustion, eye and skin burns, frostbite, and reproductive effects, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.