24/02/2005

Deadline to identify Sudan I affected products passes

The deadline has now passed for all stores and food companies to finish their identification of products affected by the Sudan I dye.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) will publish a final list of products contaminated by the dye later this afternoon.

The Food Standards Agency will publish a final list of products contaminated with Sudan I dye on Thursday afternoon.

Any additional products found on retailers shelves will have to cleared immediately.

The FSA said earlier that any firms, which failed to meet the deadline could be prosecuted.

The list of products affected has now grown to over 400 and includes own brand products from major supermarkets and food stores, such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda and Marks & Spencer. The products affected include ready-meals, soups, sauces and other processed foods. The latest products to be identified in the search for affected products are Branston's Hot and Spicy Sweet Pickle and Branston Rich and Fruity Sauce.

Two catering companies, 3663 and Brakes, who supply food to schools, pubs, restaurants and hotels, have also confirmed that they supplied food contained on the FSA's list of affected products.

The crisis was triggered by the discovery of Sudan I in chilli powder, which had been used by Premier Foods to make Crosse and Blackwell Worcester Sauce.

Sudan I, a red dye which is normally used for colouring solvents, oils, waxes, petrol and shoe and floor polishes, should not be added to food. It has been linked to an increased cancer risk, although the FSA said that the amount in the affected products was likely to be very small and stressed that there was no immediate health risk.

The FSA has said that all companies whose products are affected by the dye are co-operating fully to ensure that all the products are withdrawn from sale. The FSA has also instructed consumers who find any of the affected products in their home should not continue to use them and return them to the store they purchased them from for a refund.

For a full list of Sudan I affected products, pleas go to the FSA's web-site at www.food.gov.uk

(KMcA/SP)

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