More than 350 food products are being recalled from shelves after being contaminated with the illegal food dye Sudan 1.

The Food Standards Agency has published a list of 359 food products so far, although the final number of affected lines is still not known.

Agency officials are currently working with the industry and local authorities on what is believed to be the biggest product recall on record.

The dye was in a batch of chilli powder used by Premier Foods to manufacture a Worcester sauce, which was then used in a wide range of products.

The list spans own-label goods from all the leading supermarket chains as well as many branded items such as Lloyd Grossman Sweet & Sour sauce, Birds Eye Shepherds Pie, Heinz Weight Watchers ready meals and Pot Noodle.

The FSA and local authorities randomly sample more than 1,000 batches a year of imported chilli products because since July 2003 all chilli powder imported into the UK has to be certified free of Sudan 1.

This affected batch predates the sampling programme and was uncovered after sampling Worcester sauce exported to Italy.

Dr Jon Bell, chief executive of the Food Standards Agency, said: “Sudan 1 could contribute to an increased risk of cancer. However, at the levels present the risk is likely to be very small but it is sensible to avoid eating any more. There is no risk of immediate ill-health.

“The Agency is working with the industry to ensure that any remaining affected products are speedily removed. Because of the widespread use of this sauce to flavour other foods, we may find further affected products. We continue to take action to remove these and minimise the risks to consumers.”