Chorleywood Food Research Institute, which also carries out Sudan 1 testing services, said that there had been an unprecedented surge of calls from suppliers following the recall of products.
He said: “The Italian tests [that identified Sudan 1 in a product containing Worcester sauce supplied by Premier Foods this year] could pick up 10 parts per billion. In the UK, the range of sensitivities varies greatly.”
Bill Palilis, marketing manager at the Old India Spice Company, said he had been inundated with calls from customers asking about testing.
He said: “We advise all of our customers in writing that they should carry out their own independent tests, even though we provide them with certificates.”
However, given that the FSA had not stipulated that UK tests should be as sensitive as the Italian tests, many suppliers could have issued certificates on the basis of tests that would not have picked up the illegal dye anyway, claimed Discovery Foods’ MD James Beaton.
“We were under the impression that a certain amount per million was OK to test to, and provide certificates on that basis.
“Now they are saying it’s a problem at even lower levels. It’s like they have set a speed limit and then haul people up when they are driving below it.”
Elaine Watson