Food Law News - EU - 2005

Commission News Item, 22 February 2005

CONTAMINANTS - Contamination of Worcester sauce by the unauthorised colour Sudan I

Report from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Food (RASFF) meeting of 22 February 2005


The UK delegate presented the update of the situation in his country about the contaminated Worcester sauce by the colour Sudan I. The dye was found in chilli powder used to make Worcester sauce, which was used as an ingredient in other products.

This chilli powder was imported in 2002. After being informed by a client in Italy about findings of the dye in the Worcester sauce (at a level of 3 ppm), UK decided to test itself this ingredient and found a level of 80 ppm (mg/kg) in chilli powder.

Of the 200 recipients of the Worcester sauce identified by UK in their country, at least 20 have sent products to other MS. UK announced also that at least 420 processed products containing the Worcester sauce were concerned and had to be withdrawn. Stores across the country have been working to clear their shelves of the relevant items.

UK stressed that it is very difficult to trace back the processed production (products ready to eat) and informed the Committee of their updating of their FSA website at least once per day, as soon as the information became available and complete.


The Commission regretted that UK provided the updated information for the other MS through their website and not through the RASFF system. The Commission asked UK to inform the other MS by the channel of the RASFF.

Furthermore, the information provided at the meeting was not sufficient for the other MS to carry out investigations within their country. The Commission reiterated the need that UK should identify all the clients which have received the contaminated sauce.

In the light of the currently available information, it was agreed that all the MS should concentrate their efforts on the identification of possible clients which have received the contaminated sauce, in order to be able to trace back and withdraw such sauces.

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