Food watchdogs this week ordered a new Sudan 1 alert totally unconnected with the massive product recall caused by Premier Foods’ contaminated Worcester sauce last month - confirming fears that the crisis may be far from over.
As revealed by The Grocer (February 25, p4), the industry was already bracing itself for a series of scares in the wake of last month’s recall of 580 products with one manufacturer claiming it was just the “tip of the iceberg”.
The FSA this week ordered Asda’s Moroccan Pizza Flatbread to be hauled off shelves after it tested positive.
The Grocer has learned that the chilli powder being blamed for the latest recall was imported into Britain after 2003 when compulsory testing for Sudan 1 was introduced. Asda is understood to have alerted the FSA to the problem on Tuesday after tests by Lancashire supplier Stateside Pizza showed its product was laced with Sudan 1. The FSA said that the offending ingredient is believed to be a Harissa spicy Moroccan sauce supplied to Stateside by Keddies Saucemasters in Newport, South Wales.
However, as The Grocer went to press, Keddies claimed it was stunned by the alert as tests it commissioned on Thursday showed there was no problem. A spokesman said: “We have no reason to believe that there is any contamination.”
One major UK manufacturer said: “We would be naive as an industry to think that the last offending batch of chilli powder will be the only contaminated spice in Britain.”
The FSA said all the powder associated with the incident had been accounted for.