KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 11 — The vanilla flavour of Häagen-Dazs ice cream products contaminated with a substance called ethylene oxide (ETO) has been pulled from Malaysian supermarket shelves, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said today.

In a statement today, Dr Noor Hisham cited the notification by the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, which said there had been a recall of the vanilla-flavoured ice cream products.

The ice cream products were imported from France and used vanilla extract from Madagascar, and were found to have ETO above the permitted level.

“Since the issue was made aware to the Malaysian Ministry of Health in July 2022, appropriate action has been taken where the importing companies have voluntarily withdrawn the ice cream products involved.

“There will also be continuous monitoring to ensure that the products will not be sold in this country,” said Dr Noor Hisham in a statement today.

ETO is a chemical gas compound that is carcinogenic and is often used to carry out fumigation to kill pests such as insects, he said.

It is also used as an active ingredient in detergents but is not allowed to be used on surfaces that come in contact with food.

Dr Noor Hisham reassured that the Health Ministry is always aware and concerned about incidents that may threaten the health of consumers, and said that doubtful consumers can always contact the nearest district health office.

Inquiries can also be made through the website http://moh.spab.gov.my or the Facebook page of the Food Safety and Quality Division (BKKM) at www.facebook.com/bkkmhq.

Many countries such as Singapore have recalled the same product by Häagen-Dazs.