Changes to the European Union’s General Food Law appear to have led to a fourfold increase in the number of product recalls involving foreign objects in the past year.
The Food Standards Agency’s archives reveal that 20 products were withdrawn from sale in 2005 as a precaution because they were thought to contain items such as metal, plastic and glass. In 2004, there were only five recalls of this kind.
The increase came in the same year that the food industry was forced to pull almost 600 products from sale because they were thought to contain the cancer-causing dye Sudan 1.
A spokesman for the FSA said that although there had been a “slight upward trend” in the number of product recalls involving foreign objects, the FSA was not planning to launch an investigation because there was no link between the incidents. However, he predicted that the increase could be related to the 178/2002 General Food Law becoming more stringent from January 1, 2005.