Sudan Red testing a priority for food makers to cut risk

By Lindsey Partos

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags European union Sudan

More than six months after the sudan food colour debacle struck the
UK, the authorities are still detecting the illegal ingredient, and
potential carcinogen, in food formulations.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) said this week that a batch of seasoning products, mostly curry powders, under the Supreme brand, have been pulled from the shelves after they were found to contain the illegal dyes Sudan I and IV.

Banned under European law in food products, sudan dyes are red dyes that are used for colouring solvents, oils, waxes, petrol, and shoe and floor polishes.

But in February this year authorities detected Sudan Red in a batch of Worcester sauce supplied by the St.Albans-based firm Premier Foods

At considerable expense to the industry, in excess of €200 million, the discovery led to well over 600 well-known processed food products being pulled from the shelves.

Prior to the recall, Brussels had imposed tougher rules on spice entries due to fears over the Sudan presence. The law requires that imports of chilli and chilli products - including curry powder - cross the EU border with proof - a certificate - they are free of the illegal chemical dyes.

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)."

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