Carcinogenic food dye alert sparks food recall

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2005, MADRID-Shops and food companies in Spain and other parts of Europe must identify all products containing the banned food dye Sudan I, EU watchdogs said.

24 February 2005

MADRID-Shops and food companies in Spain and other parts of Europe must identify all products containing the banned food dye Sudan I, EU watchdogs said.

More than 400 products in eleven countries have been recalled so far after they were found to contain the dye, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.

EU Health inspectors found one batch of the Sudan I contaminant in Alicante, in south-east Spain. It has already been withdrawn.

Firms which did not meet the deadline could face prosecution.

Local authorities would check potentially affected food was removed from schools and hospitals.

The British Food Standards Agency raised the alarm and the EU Health minister Philip Tod ordered the withdrawal of the product from Spain, Cyprus, France, Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Holland, Austria and Britain.

The EU expects to have been told of all products contaminated by the Sudan I dye by the end of Thursday morning, and firms must have started removing them, the agency said.

The decision on whether to prosecute those who did not meet it would be up to local authorities in each country.

The British Institute of Environmental Health said there could not be any guarantees that all affected foods would be taken off shelves by Thursday.

But the institute's Jenny Morris said: "There are so many people working on this, there is so much publicity around it, that I think there's a good chance of getting most of the affected products out of the way."

The recall of products is the biggest in the history of the EU, involving soups, sauces, crisps and ready meals, and is estimated to be costing hundreds  of millions of euros.

The recall was sparked last Friday when a consignment of Premier Foods' Crosse and Blackwell Worcester sauce was found to have been made with chilli powder containing Sudan I.

The dye has been shown to cause cancer in laboratory animals - but the risk to consumers is extremely small.

Premier Foods said it was "taking the matter very seriously" and was doing all it could to resolve the problem.

It recalled two products - Branston Hot and Spicy Sweet Pickle and Branston Rich and Fruity Sauce - both of which are only supplied to the retail industry.

Further lists of products were still being added to the recall list.

The latest list names 428 products.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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