Jakarta – The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) announced on Thursday that one Indomie instant noodle variant that was banned in Taiwan and Malaysia for containing carcinogenic substances, is in fact safe for consumption.
The BPOM found that the Indomie chicken special variant did contain Ethylene oxide but is at a level that is acceptable to the standard applied by the agency in Indonesia.
In a press statement issued on Thursday, the BPOM said the standard applied for food products manufactured in Indonesia is that it can contain up to 85 parts per million (ppm) of Ethylene oxide.
"The level detected in the instant noodle sample in Taiwan (0,34 ppm) is still way below the standard applied in Indonesia and in other countries like the United States and Canada," the agency said.
The BPOM also added that it could understand if authorities in Taiwan decided to ban the sale of Indomie chicken special as the country prohibits the presence of Ethylene oxide in food products.
"Therefore, in Indonesia, the instant noodle is safe for consumption as it has complied with the standard applied here," the BPOM said.
Earlier this week, the Taipei Health Department has detected the carcinogenic Ethylene oxide in at least one Indomie instant noodle variant from Indonesia, following a random inspection of various brands of instant noodles available in the city.
Ethylene oxide, a chemical linked to lymphoma and leukemia, was found in the seasoning packets of the Indomie chicken special variant.
Franciscus Welirang, director of Indomie producer PT Indofood Sukses Makmur, told reporters on Tuesday that the Indomie products exported to foreign countries abided by both "the BPOM and the health standards of the importing countries," adding that the company would soon issue a "clarification" on the matter.
On Wednesday, Malaysia's Health Ministry ordered the recall of two types of instant noodles, including Indomie chicken special, following the decision made by health authorities in Taiwan.