It quickly turned out that India is not the only country that needs to be checked more often. Locust bean gum (E410) imported from Turkey, used as a thickener and stabilizer, was very often contaminated with ETO. This led to the development of a common EU position, which, inter alia, resulted in a massive recall of products that were directly or indirectly contaminated with ethylene oxide. Bars, ice cream, bacon, canned fish, meats and many other foods unfortunately hit the blacklist.
It is known that ethylene oxide is harmful to human health, with prolonged contact with large amounts, it can cause headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulties and skin burns. Due to its carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and harmful effect on reproduction, it is absolutely forbidden as an ingredient in human food. Experts try to reassure you that there is no need to panic, as the consumption of one ice cream contaminated with ethylene oxide does not cause any symptoms or effects due to the quantity. However, in a broader context, that is, looking at all the inhabitants of the Community and the amount of food and additives imported into the EU, such decisive steps had to be taken, which had a preventive value and at the same time deterring potential food counterfeiters.
We read the labels before we put something in the shopping cart. If we can, we choose domestic and least processed food.