Food manufacturer Verstegen withdraws herbs and spices after finding carcinogenic substances

Turns out the Dutch are right to add their spices sparingly. Food manufacturer Verstegen has had to scrap a lot of herbal products due to a carcinogenic substance they found.

According to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA), the carcinogenic substance ethylene oxide was detected in a batch of bay leaves, RTL Nieuws reports.

Stop using these products

In light of this queasy discovery, products with ingredients from that batch are being pulled off the market. In the meantime, customers are being asked to quit using them altogether.

For your own health and safety, it’s advisable to stop adding any of the following products to your food:

  • Preserving herbs (14x5g)
  • Large can of Italian mix (6x225g)
  • Spreader mix for minced meat low in sodium (6x40g)
  • Bag of mix for endive (11x10g)
  • Bag of mix for macaroni and spaghetti (10x35g)
  • Bag of mix for minced meat with onion (10x40g)
  • Bag of bay leaf (12x4g)
  • Glass jar of bay leaf (3x10g)
  • Glass shaker ground laurel (6x25g)

For additional information, you can also consult the list with product numbers and expiration dates published by the NVWA and Verstegen here.

What is ethylene oxide?

For those of us who aren’t chemists and therefore aren’t familiar with what ethylene oxide is, here’s our answer…

It’s typically used as a crop protection agent as well as a disinfectant. While the thought of that swirling around in one’s stomach doesn’t sound pleasant, apparently, small doses of it are manageable.

However, high amounts are classified as dangerous by the NVWA and, therefore, aren’t allowed to be produced or sold within Europe.

Even so, if you’ve recently ingested one of the herbal mixes listed above, don’t panic or call the ambulance.

Apparently, it takes a long time, with regular consumption of the substance in high amounts, to make a real dent in your health.

READ MORE | What was the VOC? The Dutch East India Company explained

Plus, the Dutch aren’t known for going ham on the spices. 👀

Were you shocked to hear about the discovery of ethylene oxide? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Feature Image:Freepik
Ellen Ranebo
Ellen Ranebo
As someone half Swedish and half Irish who has lived in the Netherlands, the UK, and attended an American School, Ellen is a cocktail of various nationalities. Having had her fair share of bike accidents, near-death experiences involving canals, and miscommunications while living here (Swedish and Dutch have deceptively similar words with very different meanings), she hopes to have (and document) plenty more in future.

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