The Vietnam Food Administration (VFA) was quick to contact the International Food Safety Authorities Network (Infosan) for confirmation after suspicions that the South Korean instant noodle brands ‘Neoguri’ and ‘Sang Sang’, manufactured by the Nongshim Company, contained a cancer-causing substance called Benzopyrene.
Earlier, the South Korea’s Food and Drug Administration had announced that Benzopyrene had been found in brands ‘Neoguri’ and ‘Sang Sang’ produced by the Nongshim Company.
‘Benzopyrene’ is known to cause skin, bladder and lung cancer, but if found in very small amounts it can cause no harm to human health.
Even though the two brands had very small doses of Benzopyrene in them, the South Korean health watchdog still decided to remove these products from market shelves.
So far the Vietnam Food Administration has not heard from the International Food Safety Authorities Network in this matter.
However, while waiting for an answer from Infosan, supermarket chains across Vietnam have pulled off the South Korean instant noodle brands from shelves. In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, the South Korean instant noodles are usually available in large quantities, especially in supermarkets.
VFA also conducted a check on the issuance of a certificate for food safety on the above products. Since 2008 until now, the health watchdog has certified 10 South Korean made noodle products.
Vietnam’s health watchdog has asked the South Korean importers to send a report on the quantity imported and the volume sold, and also the of the unsold inventory so that samples of the product can be sent for testing.
VFA also said that according to an official announcement by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration, the instant noodle brands made by the Nongshim Company and imported to Taiwan (China) contained very little contamination of Benzopyrene; hence it will not be necessary to pull them off the market.