Food Law News - UK - 2001

FSA Press Release (2001/0148), 20 September 2001

CONTAMINANTS - High Levels of Aflatoxins Found in Batch of Mixed Spices for Asian Curries

High levels of aflatoxins, chemicals that have the potential to cause cancer in humans, have been found in a batch of 'Kashmira Basar mixed spices for Asian curries'. The Food Standards Agency advises against the consumption of food products prepared using the affected batch and has taken action to ensure that it is withdrawn from sale or use.

Only one batch is affected by this contamination of aflatoxins. Analysis of the product showed that the batch contained up to 90 micrograms per kilogram of Aflatoxin B1. A EC regulation is due to be introduced which sets a limit of 5 micrograms per kilogram of aflatoxin B1 in certain spices.

The Food Standards Agency's advice is to avoid eating foods that contain the products from this one batch, which has a best before date of March 02. The Agency is not advising against the use of other batches of this product, nor other mixed spices for Asian curries, nor against eating curry.

Aflatoxins are part of a group of naturally occurring mycotoxins produced by moulds on foods such as nuts, dried fruits, cereals and spices. These pose a risk to humans as they have the potential to cause cancer.

Full product details are:

The Food Standards Agency has today issued a food hazard warning to local authorities that requires action to ensure the removal from sale or use of this product. The relevant local authorities are those that have been identified as having premises that have received this specific batch of mixed spices. The areas affected are:

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