Food Law News - UK - 2001
FSA Press Release (2000/0084), 31 January 2001
CONTAMINANTS - Agency Finds High Levels of Tin in Heinz Canned Spaghetti in Tomato Sauce - Heinz Recall Affected Tins
High levels of tin have been found by the Food Standards Agency, during a survey of canned fruit and vegetable products. The survey identified a problem with elevated levels of tin in samples of 400g cans of Heinz canned spaghetti in tomato sauce. As a precaution Heinz are withdrawing certain batches of this product sold both separately and in four-can multi-packs. The cans affected are those that include MSLD as part of the product code printed on the bottom of the can.
The Food Standards Agency advises against the consumption of the affected product.
If you have any of this product with the MSLD code you should remove the label and dispose of the can, write the product code on the label together with your name and address in block capitals and return it to Heinz. You will receive a voucher to cover the full value of the product.
If canned spaghetti 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.
The following additional notes are provided:
- The Food Standards Agency is carrying out a survey of tin in canned fruit and vegetable products to bring our data on these products up-to-date.
- 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. Consumers who would like further information on this recall by Heinz should call the company's customer care line on 0800 496 3283
- The full results of the survey will be published when it is complete
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