Top 10 contaminated foods in supermarkets, here are all the products at risk.

Top 10 contaminated foods in supermarkets, here are all the products at risk. Not a day goes by without products being recalled.

Two major health alerts in a fortnight is rare, but it is the law of the series, confides to the Parisian an official from the Ministry of Health.

There are fairly regular product health recalls, but product recalls involving human contamination only occur about 10 times a year, says Henriette de Valk, head of the foodborne infectious disease unit at French public health.

contaminated products

Danger alert on food products

But it is also because the surveillance system is more and more efficient and it is easier to trace the source of the food that has been infected.

A total of 4,377 non-compliant, or even hazardous to health, food product references have been recalled since March 2021. Milk and dairy products top the list: these products were recalled 1,730 times in one year (March 2021 – April 2022).

This is followed by meat, dietary and nutritional foods, cereals and bakery products. Next come sweet products, prepared meals and snacks, and finally fish products.

Consumers are increasingly exposed!

One of the most concerning contaminants of the moment is ethylene oxide. Even organic food cannot escape it! This substance is used to disinfect products.

However, Europe has banned it since 2011 because it is classified as a carcinogen. This was recalled by the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF) last April.

Contaminated food: The NGO Foodwatch wants to give more details on the real dangers for consumers.

This gaseous disinfectant used in countries outside the EU to prevent bacteriological contamination of raw materials (salmonella in particular) is not authorized in Europe because it is carcinogenic, mutagenic and harms reproduction. Thousands of food products have been recalled in France because they contain ingredients illegally treated with ethylene oxide.

He continues: This means that they are non-compliant; they should never have ended up in our supermarkets. Following the alert launched by Belgium in September 2020 on the European network.

It was first discovered that sesame seeds involved in our cookies. Bread, hummus and other ready meals came from India. Now Turkey is added to the list because it is contaminated carob flour. It is used in ice cream, for example.

Contaminated food: New recalls by the DGCCRF

Today, according to the DGCCRF, we are at 9300 products sold in supermarkets. Last June, the consumer watchdog had alerted on 7000 foods. We keep discovering new ones. A real disaster!

Because these anomalies affect all types of products: from chocolate bars to toast and crackers, including chicken and ice cream. Even organic products are affected! Ethylene oxide is used in particular to preserve sesame or spices of Indian origin. 7,000 foods were thus subject to a recall procedure by the DGCCRF. The problem is that this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Contaminated food: In a press release, Foodwatch declares itself dismayed by the origin of this scandal: the lack of controls on food products is flagrant.

And things don’t work out. Last June, the DGCCRF officially recalled that the use of ethylene oxide has been banned in the European Union as a food and feed protection product since 2011.

As with all other CMR-classified substances, consumer exposure to this substance should be limited as much as possible, as a long-term risk may exist when consuming products containing it.

Investigations are currently underway. In connection with the European Commission to identify the origin of this contamination, specifies the DGCCRF.


We call on ingredient importers and European manufacturers to strengthen their own controls.

In order to ensure that the ingredients and products they market comply with European regulations, specifies the CLCV. In the meantime, consumers are taking risks. To limit the damage, avoid anything that contains sesame seeds!

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