Food Law News - UK - 2006

FSA News Item, 23 February 2006

CONTAMINANTS - Spice firm fined over illegal dye

The Food Standards Agency has welcomed the successful prosecution by Essex County Council of East Anglian Food Ingredients Ltd (EAFI) for the sale of Hot Curry Powder containing the illegal dye Sudan I.

The company appeared before Colchester Magistrates' Court on 15 February 2006 . It pleaded guilty to an offence under section 14 of the Food Safety Act 1990 concerning 'the sale of food not of the substance demanded by the consumer'.

It was fined £2000 and ordered to pay £3000 in costs. The legal action was taken by Essex County Council Trading Standards after they became aware of the problem in July 2005.

A food recall in August 2005 resulted in the remaining stock either being removed from the shelves or quarantined in warehouses.

David Statham, Director of Enforcement at the Food Standards Agency said: 'Food companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that the food they sell is safe and fit for human consumption.

'I very much welcome the outcome of this investigation. This successful prosecution is the result of a lot of hard work by Essex County Council officials during a long investigation.'

Investigations by other local authorities into other aspects of the alleged use of Sudan I in foods and food ingredients are ongoing.

The case involving EAFI relates to Sudan I contamination of Hot Curry Powder sold by EAFI to HP Foods Limited in July 2005. EAFI is based in Clacton-on-Sea , where Essex County Council is responsible for food law enforcement.

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