Authorities confirmed that the noodles banned in some countries for health concerns are not sold in the Gulf nation.
Two brands of instant noodles that were recalled globally due to high levels of ethylene oxide, are not available in Qatar, health authorities assured.
The health ministry in Qatar said two brands of instant noodles, Indomie: Special Chicken Flavour from Indonesia and Ah Lai White Curry Noodle from Malaysia, are not available to buy in the Gulf state after the two were banned elsewhere around the world.
Earlier this week, Taipei health authorities in Indonesia discovered ethylene oxide, a carcinogenic chemical linked to lymphoma and leukaemia, in Indomie and Ah Lai White Curry.
The seasoning packets of the Indomie chicken special variant were found to contain the chemical.
However, Qatar’s health ministry announced additional precautionary measures to assure consumers in the country.
These include requiring outlets to attach an analysis certificate that confirms the absence of ethylene oxide in any shipment of instant noodles, regardless of their country of origin.
The ministry also said it will continue to monitor the situation and update these procedures as needed.
‘Safe for consumption’
On Tuesday, Franciscus Welirang, the director of PT Indofood Sukses Makmur which produces Indomie, told reporters that company products that were exported to foreign countries had followed both the health standards of the importing countries and those set by the BPOM.
He also said the company would issue a clarification on the situation shortly.
However, on 27 April the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) declared that one variant of Indomie instant noodles, which had been already banned in Taiwan and Malaysia, is safe for consumption.
The BPOM’s investigation revealed that while the Indomie chicken special variant did contain Ethylene oxide, the level present was within the acceptable range according to the agency’s standards in Indonesia.
According to Qatar’s health ministry, international regulations stipulate that ethylene oxide is only allowed in limited amounts, much like other types of pesticides and pollutants.
The BPOM clarified that food products manufactured in Indonesia are allowed to contain up to 85 parts per million (ppm) of ethylene oxide, which is the standard applied by the agency, a press statement said.
“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.