Ban on MDH and Everest Masala due to food safety

Seema Rai
Seema Rai

We’ve all seen the spice king, Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, appear on television in a red turban and white kurta outfit, hawking his signature masala. We even remember the catchphrase, ‘Asli masala sach sach, M-D-H, MDH!.’ Food in Indian households is incomplete without a hefty dose of masalas. Whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. India, the world’s top spice producer, user, and exporter, has sought information from Singapore and Hong Kong food safety officials. Who has banned several spices from Indian firms MDH and Everest due to quality concerns?

Reports have been instructed to Indian Embassies against the ban: MDH Everest

The trade ministry has also instructed Indian embassies in Singapore and Hong Kong to provide thorough reports. The government has also sought information from Indian firms MDH and Everest. Whose products have been prohibited for allegedly exceeding allowable quantities of pesticide ‘ethylene oxide’.

Details were sought from the companies. The root cause of the rejection and corrective actions will be determined in collaboration with the affected exporters, according to a trade ministry official. Technical data, analytical reports, and information on the exporters whose consignments were refused. It has also been requested from the Singapore and Hong Kong embassies, according to the official.

The Spices Board of India is investigating the ban: Hong Kong and Singapore

According to the ministry source, an industry consultation has been organized to explore the subject of mandatory ethylene oxide testing in spice shipments to Singapore and Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Spices Board of India is investigating the ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore on selling four spice-mix products from Indian firms MDH and Everest.

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Hong Kong’s food safety agency has advised customers not to buy these items and dealers not to sell them. The Singapore Food Agency has ordered a recall of the products. 2022-23, the country exported spices valued at around ₹32,000 crore. Chilli, cumin, spice oil and oleoresins, turmeric, curry powder, and cardamom are popular spices exported.

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