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Belgium pulls more Haagen-Dazs ice-creams from sale

Belgium on Tuesday extended an order to recall certain Haagen-Dazs ice-creams from sale after the discovery of traces of a chemical linked to cancer, such as lymphoma and leukemia.

The move was triggered by an EU food safety alert and Spain and France have also issued recalls of several Haagen-Dazs products.

After already recalling 10 products last Friday, the Belgian national food health agency added seven more Haagen-Dazs products to the list on Tuesday.

The latest move concerns tubs and minicups made by Haagen-Dazs, a brand owned by US manufacturer General Mills, with use-by dates of between March and April 2023, with flavours including Vanilla, Belgian Chocolate, Macadamia Nut Brittle and Pralines & Cream.

Customers who had bought Haagen-Dazs products affected by the recalls were told not to eat them, destroy them and to contact General Mills for a refund.

The alert was relayed on the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed system at the request of France, which last month detected 2-Chloroethanol in checks on some Haagen-Dazs products, triggering the initial recall.

2-Chloroethanol is a compound found in ethylene oxide (ETO), a carcinogenic chemical used as a pesticide and cleaning chemical, and has properties that damage DNA.

General Mills said last week that “trace levels of ETO can be sourced to one ingredient (vanilla extract) provided by one of our suppliers”.

Outside the EU, Brazil’s ANVISA health monitoring agency last month issued its own alert over vanilla Haagen-Dazs products imported from France.

Despite its name, Haagen-Dazs does not have Nordic origins. It was founded by a Polish-Jewish couple in New York who gave it a brand they thought sounded Danish.