Dozens of ice cream brands, under the scrutiny of the authorities (Photo: NurPhoto via .)
The Nestlé company is withdrawing “specific batches” of some of its ice creams from supermarkets after notices from its manufacturer, Froneri, for the presence in these products of a carcinogen, ethylene oxide (ETO). Specifically, the brands Nestlé, Milka, Toblerone, Nuii, Oreo, Princesa, La Lechera and Smarties, all of them marketed by the Swiss firm in Spain, would be affected.
In a notice published on its website, Froneri explained that they received the alert about the accidental contamination of said ingredient supplied by one of their suppliers and they are “rapidly withdrawing all the affected batches from the points of sale.” Froneri has clarified in a subsequent statement, collected by Europa Press, that “only very specific batches of certain products are affected”.
“There is no product category affected in its entirety and not all products produced under the same batch number are necessarily affected. The same batch has several ranges of products, some of which used the affected stabilizer and others did not ”, he says.
For this reason, it recommends that consumers go to its website, where they can type the first six digits of the batch of ice cream they have purchased to see if it may be contaminated.
This is the manufacturer’s statement
For Froneri, the safety and quality of our products are our highest priority. In accordance with the new guidelines announced by the European Commission last Friday, July 16, 2021, and later, by AESAN (Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition), we are withdrawing those batches of products in which the ingredient has been used. with traces of ETO (Ethylene Oxide).
Since we received the alert about the accidental contamination of said ingredient supplied by one of our suppliers, we have taken proactive measures and we work in full cooperation with the health authorities and we are quickly removing all affected batches from the points of sale.
The amount of the affected component that is used is negligible in the final product. In addition, even in the case of consumption of a product that could be affected by this incidence, and based on external and own analyzes, it is very unlikely that it poses a risk to the health of consumers. The possible health risk derives mainly from direct handling of the substance or from a hypothetical continued consumption in large doses.
In any case, it points out that the amount of the affected component that is used is “negligible” in the final product and states that even in the case of consumption of a product that could be affected by this incidence, “it is very unlikely that it involves a risk to the health of consumers ”.
The possible risk to health, as specified, derives mainly from the direct manipulation of the substance or from a hypothetical continued consumption in large doses.
46 varieties affected, at least, according to FACUA
The FACUA association claims to have received lists of the ice creams affected by workers from various distribution chains. According to this list of products, 46 varieties of ice cream manufactured by Froneri of the brands Nestlé, Milka, Toblerone, Nuii, Oreo, Princesa, La Lechera and Smarties would be affected, all of them marketed by the Swiss firm in Spain.
The association warns that the list is not necessarily complete, since it is part of the withdrawal alerts from the marketing of Froneri / Nestlé products disseminated internally by the Carrefour, Dia and Covirán chains.
FACUA has demanded that Nestlé and Froneri act with transparency and make public the complete list of affected products. It has also urged the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN) of the Ministry of Consumption to publish the list of contaminated ice cream.
Regarding the information disseminated by Facua, Froneri specifies that “the list they publish is neither official, nor verified, and may mislead consumers.”
On the other hand, the AESAN has published a statement in which it assures to share “the concern of consumers about the problem posed by the presence of ethylene oxide residues in food.”
As specified, this problem is being “managed since last September 2020, when the detection of very high levels of ethylene oxide in certain batches of sesame seeds originating or coming from India that had been been introduced into the European Union ”. The AESAN rules out the existence of an “acute risk”, although it adds that it is “the chronic risk that could be a concern”.
Some products of the Mars brand have also been affected by ethylene oxide contamination, a company that has announced on its website (esp.mars.com/es) that they are certain M & M’s, Snickers and Twix ice creams.
This article originally appeared on The HuffPost and has been updated.