Food Law News - UK - 2005

FSA Press Release, 4 April 2004

CONTAMINANANTS - European Union agrees further Sudan dye checks

[See also related EU News Item - 4 April 2005]

The European Union has today agreed additional checks on foods for contamination with illegal Sudan dyes. The European Commission has also published a leaflet for food businesses, reminding them of their responsibilities under European law for ensuring the safety and traceability of their products.

The leaflet, entitled 'Key Obligations of Food and Feed Business Operators,' is available from the link below.

Checks for Sudan dyes will be extended to cover unprocessed palm oil and turmeric. A number of unprocessed palm oil and turmeric samples have tested positive for Sudan contamination and products have been withdrawn. The majority of palm oil used in food in the UK is refined: a process that should remove any trace of contaminants such as Sudan dyes. Unprocessed palm oil is used in west African cooking.

Contamination of turmeric has only been found in two samples imported into Cyprus and Spain . Nevertheless, it was decided to extend the checks to turmeric on a precautionary basis.

Today's decisions do not affect the Agency's existing advice: the levels of Sudan dyes found in foods have been low and the risk at such levels is very small. However, these new measures will increase consumer protection still further

[The EU leaflet is available on this site: The Key Obligations of Food and Feed Business Operators (pdf file)]

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