Three more types of cancer-causing food dye may have found their way into the food chain.
The Grocer last week revealed how more than 200 lines of Indian and Italian cooking sauces had been withdrawn from sale following the discovery of Sudan 1, the outlawed dye for chilli powder, in key brands.
But now controls to ban the import of affected powder have been extended to three more types of dye.
EC officials have ruled that any powder containing Sudan 2, 3 and 4 should also be seized.
However, it is feared that each may already have been used unwittingly by manufacturers.
Local authorities are carrying out testing on chilli-based products nationwide. A spokesman for the Food Standards Agency said the new offending trio had so far only been found in a handful of products in other EU countries. “We do not expect this extension to affect anything like the same number of products as Sudan 1,” he confirmed.
However, this will be small consolation to manufacturers already caught up in the Sudan 1 scare. Phil Lynas, MD of The Grocery Company, brand owner of several Nando’s products which tested positive for the offending dye, said: “The costs will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.”
A spokeswoman for Unilever, which had to withdraw affected batches of Bertolli Pesto Rosso last year, said: “All of our testing measures will be extended to cover the new dyes as well.”
Mary Carmichael