Food Law News - UK - 2000

FSA Press Release (2000/0068), 27 November 2000

RECALL - Product Recall of Canned Tomato Soup

HL Foods Ltd is withdrawing cans of tomato soup it produces on behalf of a number of retailers and brands because of a problem with levels of tin above the legal limit in some cans. The withdrawal takes immediate effect and covers the following retail brands:
Asda, Kwiksave, Netto, Shire, Aldi, Lidl, No-Frills, Somerfield, Co-op, Lo-Cost, Safeway, Tesco, Happy Shopper, Morrisons, Sainsbury.

The only cans involved in the recall are those with a best before date of November 2002 or earlier and a code containing the letter W and ending in the number 07 on the can end.

The Food Standards Agency advises against the consumption of these products. If tomato soup from the affected batches were eaten, it could cause short-term stomach upsets or headaches in some people, but no long-term effects would be expected.

High concentrations of tin in food irritate the gastrointestinal tract and may cause stomach upsets in some individuals, with symptoms which include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, abdominal bloating, fever and headache. These are short-term effects with recovery expected soon after exposure. These effects may occur in some individuals at tin concentrations above 200 mg/kg with an increased risk of effects at concentrations above 250 mg/kg. Long-term effects are not expected from tin in the diet.

As there are health concerns regarding high concentrations of tin, The UK Tin in Food Regulations 1992 limit the maximum amount of tin in foods sold in the UK to 200 mg/kg. The Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) has supported this limit, which is intended to protect consumers against the potential adverse effects of tin.

Tin levels of over 200mg/kg have been found in some cans from the affected batches with the highest levels up to around 300mg/kg.

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