The independent panel set up to review the Sudan 1 crisis in February 2005 has accused the FSA of being too reliant on trade bodies when it comes to communicating with food companies in such incidents.

Its report into the recall of hundreds of product lines said there were "major difficulties in communication between the FSA and the majority of the 600,000 food businesses in the UK that do not belong to any trade association".

This meant some companies continued to sell products containing the cancer-causing dye after the FSA had announced a recall, said the report.

It recommended that food business registration was "fully enforced and the databases used to enable information distribution" in cases of emergency.

It also urged the industry to look at closing the "loophole in traceability" between cash & carries and small retailers. Food products sold through these channels were too difficult to trace, it claimed.