Food Law News - EU - 2003

FSA Scotalnd News Release, 3 July 2003

CONTAMINANT - Sudan I in hot chilli products

Food Standards Agency Scotland has alerted stakeholders to a European Commission decision relating to the dye Sudan 1 in hot chili products.The dye is not a permitted food colour in the European Union, and is a suspected genotoxic carcinogen.

In May 2003, the Agency was alerted to reports from France that Sudan I had been found in hot chilli products originating from India.

On 20 June 2003, the European Commission adopted a decision that prohibits all imports of hot chilli and hot chilli products of the genus Capsicum, dried and crushed, or ground for human consumption, falling within CN code 0904 20 9, into EU Member States, unless accompanied by a report on the results of official sampling and analysis, demonstrating that the consignment does not contain Sudan I.

The Decision also contains provisions for random sampling and analysis of relevant products to be carried out at ports and airports, and for local enforcement authorities to carry out sampling and testing of products already on the market.

This decision will be reviewed before 20 June 2004 to assess whether this measure provides adequate protection.

The Decision only applies to those products falling under CN code 0904 20 9 and therefore does not apply to whole chillies or to products which contain hot chillies, such as chilli flavoured sauce.

The Decision takes effect immediately and makes no provision for consignments of chilli products currently in transit to Member States.

The Decision is due to be implemented very shortly in Scotland by the Food (Hot Chilli and Hot Chilli Products) (Emergency Control) (Scotland) Regulations 2003.

Similar legislation will implement the Regulations in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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