Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA Press Release (2003/0419), 2 October 2003

CONTAIMINANTS - Food Standards Agency issues warning about couscous found to contain contaminated chilli powder

The Food Standards Agency today warned that some batches of a couscous product sold in the UK contain chilli powder which has been contaminated with the chemical dye Sudan I. Affected batches of Sammy's Easy Cook Couscous - Zesty Lemon and Coriander have now been withdrawn from sale.

The product was sold in Tesco's supermarkets and Makro cash and carry stores. It was sold at Tesco's in 200g cartons. Only batches with the best before dates below are affected:

The product was sold at Makro in 1.5kg jars. Only batches with the best before dates below are affected:

Sudan I could cause cancer, although there is no immediate threat of illness. People most at risk would be those eating contaminated products regularly and over a long period of time.

Anyone who has purchased one of these contaminated products, which are produced by First Quality Foods, should either throw it away, or return it and request a refund from the store where it was purchased. Pictures of the products can be found on the Agency website.

The Agency has been investigating which food products in the UK could have been affected by contaminated chilli powder since July. It is understood that three chilli suppliers in India had been adulterating their chilli powder with Sudan I. More than 40 contaminated products have been withdrawn from sale and recalled in the UK so far.

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