Alert in Europe over detection of ethylene oxide in ice cream

Alert in Europe over detection of ethylene oxide in ice cream. image: wikimedia

Alert in Europe over the detection of banned chemical ethylene oxide in batches of ice cream

At the end of June, the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), in line with neighbouring countries in Europe, urged food companies to withdraw all products made with the E410 food additive from the market, after it had been found to be contaminated with ethylene oxide, and more specifically, in the manufacture of ice cream, where the additive is used as a stabilizer.

It was reportedly AESAN, who requested the removal of the affected products, on behalf of the European Commission, and although the authorities have since claimed that all the defective products have been removed from the market, apparently, they have not clarified which batches of ice cream were actually affected.

This has led to the Organisation of Consumers and Users (OCU) insisting that the Ministry of Consumption clarify the batches of ice cream that were affected by the alleged contamination, in order for consumers to be able to check and subsequently remove any of the suspected batches from their homes, just as they have done in France recently.

The OCU also pointed out that these stabilizers are usually also used in other types of food, such as dairy desserts and sauces, it should be checked if it has been able to reach other types of products.

In their latest statement, published on Thursday, July 22, AESAN shared the concern of consumers about the problem posed by the presence of ethylene oxide residues in food, highlighting that this issue was detected in September 2020, but assured that not all batches of the E410 additive were contaminated, and that the food contaminated with ethylene oxide had already been withdrawn from the market, and that therefore, the products that are currently on the market are safe and comply with current legislation.

“The actions aimed at withdrawing the affected lots from the market and reinforcing the control measures guarantee a null exposure of this substance in the future, constituting very effective risk management measures in order to guarantee food safety”, explains AESAN, “We are in contact with food companies in which products containing ethylene oxide residues have been manufactured or distributed, in order to inform them about the affected products”, as reported by


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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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