NZ Food Safety investigating Samyang noodles after Denmark recall

By and is republished with permission

New Zealand Food Safety is investigating a range of popular South Korean noodles amid concerns its high levels of capsaicin could result in “acute poisoning” — leading to a ban in Denmark.

The Danish Veterinary and Food Administration yesterday issued a recall for Samyang Foods’ Buldak 3x Spicy & Hot Chicken, 2x Spicy & Hot Chicken, and Hot Chicken Stew products.

“The noodle dishes marketed as extremely strong must no longer be sold because consumers and especially children risk acute poisoning,” it said in announcing the recall.

“The capsaicin content is so high that it can pose a health hazard.”

Capsaicin is an active component in chilli peppers which produces its burning sensation. In large quantities, it can lead to death.

Buldak 3x Spicy & Hot Chicken has a Scoville rating of 13,200, while the Hot Chicken Flavour Ramen 2x Spicy comes in at 8808 Scoville units. The Hot Chicken Stew is the least spicy among the three products, coming in at 4705 Scoville units.

The products, sold worldwide, went viral on social media in 2014 due to the Fire Noodle Challenge, where people film themselves eating the noodles.

A Samyang Foods spokesperson told the BBC it understood the recall was issued “not because of a problem in their quality but because they were too spicy”.

“The products are being exported globally. But this is the first time they have been recalled for the above reason.”

In a statement, New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle told 1News the ministry “is aware of Denmark’s recall of Samyang noodles due to concerns over high levels of capsaicin, the active component of chilli peppers”.

“Because Samyang noodles are also available in New Zealand, we are looking into this issue.

“As always, if we consider there to be a food safety risk, we will take swift action, including recalling the product for public safety.”

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