KUALA LUMPUR, April 26 — The Health Ministry has found ethylene oxide contamination in 11 types of Mi Sedaap instant noodles imported from Indonesia since 2022 and warned against consuming these products as it could endanger one’s health.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said the ministry’s Food Safety and Quality Division has been monitoring the instant noodle brands in the local market following reports of ethylene oxide contamination last year.

“As a result of monitoring 36 samples of instant noodle products of various brands in the local market from 2022 until now, it was found that 11 samples of Mi Sedaap products contained ethylene oxide and enforcement action was taken,” he said in a statement today.

He said court action and compounds have been issued, adding that the affected products have been recalled from the market.


He explained that ethylene oxide is a chemical gas compound that is carcinogenic and is often used to kill pests such as insects.

“It is also used as an active ingredient in detergents, but not allowed to be used on surfaces that come into contact with food,” he said.

He advised the public to not consume any of the affected products.


Dr Muhammad Radzi also said the ministry has ordered two instant noodles companies to voluntarily remove two other brands from the market after the Taiwan Health Authority recently reported that the products contain ethylene oxide.

One of them is the locally produced Ah Lai White Curry Noodles from Penang, and the other is Indomie Special Chicken Flavour Instant Noodles from Indonesia.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said the ministry’s tests of Ah Lai White Curry Noodle samples have found that the brand complies with local legislation.

“However, to ensure the continuous food safety control the Ministry has instructed the company for the voluntary recall of the Penang Alai White Curry Mi [sic] product for the relevant batch that has an expiry date of August 25, 2023 from the local market,” he said.

Dr Muhammad Radzi said the ministry has also ordered the same voluntary recall on the Indomie Special Chicken Flavour instant noodle imports pending testing at all entry points into Malaysia pending results.

The recent spotlight on the dangers of ethylene oxide followed news reports two days ago that Taipei’s Department of Health found the chemical compound associated with lymphoma and leukaemia in a batch of the Malaysian-made Ah Lai White Curry Noodles, and a batch of Indomie Special Chicken Flavour instant noodles from Indonesia.

The Taiwanese authority said ethylene oxide was detected in both the noodles and flavour packet of the Malaysian product, but in only the flavour packet of the Indonesian product.

A spokesman for Ah Lai White Curry Noodles have been reported saying that the company has sent samples for carcinogen testing following the Taiwanese discovery as it was the first time its products had been flagged since 2014 when it started.

"They have not shown us their results or the samples they used but we do not think they used our instant noodles,” the unnamed company spokesman was quoted as saying by The Star in a news report yesterday, referring to the Taipei Department of Health.

“This is because when we asked them what samples were used, the expiry date of the noodles did not tally with the ones we sent to Taiwan last year.”