Commission Midday Express (EXME05 / 11.5), 11 May 2005
The European Commission and food safety experts from the EU Member States yesterday discussed and agreed a common approach to tackling recent contaminations of spices and other foods by industrial dyes such as Para Red and dyes similar to Sudan I. In particular, four Member States ( UK , the Netherlands , France and Spain ) agreed that their laboratories would work together to further develop analytical methods for Para Red and similar dyes for the benefit of all Member States. Pending the results of this exercise, it was agreed that the limit of detection for most illegal dyes similar to Sudan 1 was 0.5 – 1 mg/kg, and that all foods prepared from spices containing illegal dyes above this level should be withdrawn from the market. The meeting also agreed to ask the European Food Safety Authority to carry out a review of toxicological data available on Para Red and other similar dyes. Pending the availability of harmonised methodology, Member States should continue to carry out controls and report unfavourable results to the Rapid Alert System. The Commission and Member States will continue to raise the awareness of the food industry about their responsibilities, and the Commission will transmit the analytical methods developed to third countries.