Health Ministry advises against consuming Häagen-Dazs plain vanilla ice cream; Wisynco withdraws affected products

The Health Ministry is advising persons against consuming 2 specific batches of Häagen-Dazs plain vanilla ice cream, if they happen to have the product in their possession.

Some of the ice cream would have been purchased prior to a notice from the manufacturer, to withdraw the product from shelves, earlier this month, after the batches were found to contain traces of a pesticide.

The affected batches have expiry dates between July 5 and 18, in package sizes of pints, quarts, mini cups, half gallons, and bulk.

The Health Ministry said based on the information provided to customers by local distributors, Wisynco Group Limited, during routine quality checks by the manufacturer, trace amounts of a chemical substance, known as ethylene oxide, was detected in one of the ingredients used in production, in two batches of the products.

The levels of the detected substance exceeded the minimum allowable limit by a marginal amount.

The ministry said ethylene oxide is known to cause adverse health effects and that the substance should not be directly consumed or used as an ingredient in food or drink preparation.

It said the manufacturer has issued a voluntary global recall of these products and Wisynco Group limited also recalled the items.

It added that Wisynco Group has commenced removing the products from shelves.

The advisory from the Health Ministry, comes days after one issued by the Consumer Affairs Commission, CAC after an urgent notification was sent out by the European Union for a rapid alert for dangerous non food products.

The CAC urged people to check their refrigerators for the affected item, to stop consuming them, and to return the item to the point of purchase for a full refund.

In the meantime, the local distributor of Häagen-Dazs ice cream has sought to assure citizens that the plain vanilla ice cream affected by pesticide traces, do not pose a food safety risk.

Wisynco’s Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mahfood explained that the trace amount of pesticide found in the affected ice cream, is just above that approved by the FDA, and as such, the manufacturer, is erring on the side of caution with the notice to withdraw.

Mr. Mahfood said the manufacturers theorize that the pesticide residue came with the source vanilla plant, and that the extract from the vanilla pod was used in the processing segment when making the ice cream.

He sought to assure that only 2 specific batches of the vanilla ice cream are affected, and that all other ice creams, are safe for consumption.

Mr. Mahfood said the affected ice cream had already been withdrawn from shelves in Jamaica, and they are being returned to the company’s storage facility in Kingston.

The affected ice cream will be destroyed.



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