The Food Standards Agency has accepted that ongoing Sudan 1 contaminations will haunt the industry for some time to come.
The spectre of the cancer-causing dye continues to loom over the industry after the discovery of Sudan 1 and Sudan IV in spice ingredients at Lubna Foods, West Yorkshire last week.
It is six months since the February outbreak, which led to the biggest single food recall on record as more than 500 lines were hauled off shelves.
FSA spokesman Robert Westhead said the latest recall was “hugely disappointing”, but warned that more were likely to trickle through. “We have to be pragmatic and recognise that this is going to be the case. We’ve repeatedly told companies that they have a duty to ensure that their products are free from Sudan 1. It’s disappointing.”
The FSA said the tainted spices were imported directly from India prior to February, but Lubna Foods had not begun packaging them until recently. The products withdrawn were all Supreme-branded and included coriander and curry powders. Lubna Foods MD Abdul Patel was unavailable for comment.
The Camden & Chorleywood Food Research Association said weekly testing in its labs for illegal dyes had reached a plateau of 50 to 100 cases.
Meanwhile, the FSA has appointed the National Consumer Council for Scotland as consumer representatives on its Food Incidents Task Force, which was set up in June to reduce the possibility of future contaminations by illegal dyes.
Rachel Barnes