Hong Kong Follows in Singapore's Footsteps, Bans Sale of MDH and Everest Spices

Hong Kong emulates Singapore's food safety measures by prohibiting the import and sale of MDH and Everest spices due to excessive lead content, safeguarding public health.

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Bans Sale of MDH and Everest

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In a move that has sent shockwaves through the Indian grocery market, Hong Kong has followed in the footsteps of Singapore by banning the sale of popular Indian spice brands MDH and Everest. The ban, which took effect on May 1, 2023, has left many Indian residents and businesses in a state of dismay.


The Hong Kong Centre for Food Safety (CFS) has cited the presence of pesticides in the banned products as the reason for the decision. Specifically, the CFS found excessive levels of the pesticide malathion in MDH Chana Masala and Everest Turmeric Powder. Malathion is a broad-spectrum insecticide that is used to control a wide range of insects on crops.

The decision comes just months after Singapore implemented a similar ban on MDH and Everest spices in February 2023. The Singapore Food Agency had also found excessive levels of malathion in the banned products.

The ban has sent shockwaves through the Indian community in Hong Kong, which relies heavily on these brands for their traditional cuisine. Many Indian residents have expressed concerns about the availability of safe and authentic Indian spices in the market.


Indian businesses are also feeling the pinch. Many grocery stores and restaurants in Hong Kong depend on the sale of these brands to cater to the Indian population. The ban has forced them to scramble for alternative suppliers and explore new spice options.

The MDH and Everest brands have been synonymous with Indian spices for decades. MDH, founded in 1919 by Mahashay Dharampal Gulati, is one of the largest spice companies in the world. Everest, established in 1976, is another popular brand that is widely used in Indian households.

The companies have expressed surprise and disappointment at the bans in Hong Kong and Singapore. They have stated that they adhere to strict safety standards and that their products are tested regularly to meet all regulatory requirements.


The Hong Kong CFS has urged consumers to discard any banned products that they may have in their possession. The CFS also advised consumers to purchase spices from reputable sources and to check the product packaging for any safety warnings.

The ban on MDH and Everest spices in Hong Kong has raised concerns about the potential impact on other Indian spice brands. It remains to be seen whether this ban will have a ripple effect on the global spice market and lead to further restrictions on Indian spice exports.

In the meantime, Indian residents and businesses in Hong Kong are adjusting to the new reality of not having access to their beloved MDH and Everest spices. They are exploring new brands and looking for ways to satisfy their cravings for authentic Indian cuisine.

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