Sudan, the banned red dye, turns up in Italian gnocchi

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Food

Harmful red colour Sudan 1 crops up in prepared pasta dish in
Italy, reports the EU's food risk alert system this week,
confirming food makers still risk contamination by this illegal
food colour.

In place since 1979 RASFF​ provides national authorities with a tool to swap information on national measures taken to ensure food safety, and communicate (a legal obligation) on foods withdrawn from the food chain.

The EU body reports that Italy has alerted fellow member state to the presence of Sudan 1 and Sudan 4 in a curcuma spice used in the production of gnocchi.

The discovery of the illegal dye comes just a few months after the dye sparked off the biggest food recall ever in the UK's history, after it was detected in a batch of Worcester sauce.

Supplied by the St.Albans-based firm Premier Foods to both retail and industrial ingredient markets, over 600 well-known processed food products were pulled from the shelves.

Estimates for the cost of the recall, that includes sales loss, destruction, management time, and consultants fees, plus 'softer' costs like brand damage, have run into more than €200 million.

That the EU's alert system continues to pick up on products containing the banned colour confirms the obvious: that at all costs, rigorous testing in the spirit of due diligence is absolutely essential.

Both for the health of the nations, and that of their bank accounts, food firms are under a total obligation to ensure that all ingredient stocks are tested, prior to use.

Indeed, the European Commission recently warned the food industry of its responsibilities vis a vis​ Europe's extensive food law, encouraging firms to commit to massive testing, particularly of old stocks.

And as a warning to the food industry, the Commission stressed that the food law covers not only food safety, but also "fraudulent practices (Article 8)."

Related topics: Policy, Food Safety & Quality

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