Due to quality concerns, Nepal forbids the sale of Indian spice blend goods, following Hong Kong and Singapore

Nepal has followed Singapore and Hong Kong in banning the import and sale of certain spice blends made by Indian companies due to purported quality issues.

The Department of Food Technology and Quality Control here said that four spice-mix products from MDH and Everest were prohibited in the Himalayan country as of Friday because of possible ethylene oxide (EtO) contamination.

As a result, Nepal has outlawed the use of Madras curry powder, Sambhar mixed masala powder, MDH mixed masala powder, and Everest fish curry masala.

The agency said in a notification on Friday that “the import and sale of these products are banned within the country as per Article 19 of the Food Regulation 2027 B.S. as residue contents of ethylene oxide are found to be exceeding the prescribed limit in these four products.”

“Reports in the media regarding the sale of these inferior products have caught our serious attention, and they are dangerous to eat,” the statement said.

Additionally, importers and dealers have been advised to remove these items from the market by the watchdog on food quality control.

Due to possible higher ETO levels connected to some malignancies, sales of many spices made by MDH and Everest were suspended in Singapore and Hong Kong last month.

Since then, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has been investigating the quality of the nation’s powdered spice supply from different manufacturers.

The Federation of Indian Spice Stakeholders (FISS) warned on Friday that unless the problem of ethylene oxide contamination in spices intended for sale is resolved as soon as possible, India’s spice exports might drop by about 40% in FY25.

According to the Spices Board of India, India is one of the top producers of spices in the world, exporting over 200 spices and value-added goods to over 180 countries for a total of USD 4 billion in 2021–2022.

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