New checks on food dye
ADDITIONAL spot checks could be carried out on Ipswich retailers to make sure they have removed potentially contaminated products from their shelves.Environmental health officers have already conducted a series of unannounced checks in Ipswich as part of the biggest food recall in British history but Ipswich Borough Council has warned more could be needed.
ADDITIONAL spot checks could be carried out on Ipswich retailers to make sure they have removed potentially contaminated products from their shelves.
Environmental health officers have already conducted a series of unannounced checks in Ipswich as part of the biggest food recall in British history but Ipswich Borough Council has warned more could be needed.
The council has joined authorities throughout the county in ensuring products potentially contaminated with the illegal Sudan 1 dye are withdrawn from sale.
"We've made visits to some retailers for spot checks," Ann Bryant, a senior environmental health officer at Ipswich Borough Council, said.
"We will be monitoring to see if there are any further updates from the Food Standards Agency and will also respond to any further food standards alert.
"There may well be further spot checks if (they are) needed."
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The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has alerted retailers to 420 products linked with the contamination scare.
The alert was sparked when a consignment of Crosse and Blackwell Worcester Sauce, made by Premier Foods, was found to contain chilli powder contaminated with the banned Sudan 1 dye.
Catering companies and ready meal manufacturers regularly use the affected Worcester sauce as a seasoning.
Sudan 1 is normally used as a colouring in solvents, oils, waxes, petrol and shoe and floor polish.
Experts warn it could contribute to an increased risk of cancer, although they add there is unlikely to be an immediate risk to health.
As the number of foodstuffs affected by the Sudan 1 food dye continued to rise, Suffolk councils worked together to contact retailers in the county.
Ipswich Borough's representative on the Suffolk Food Liaison Group, Jo-Ann Batho, said: "We have been busy getting in touch with dozens of local caterers and retailers either in person or by letter to ensure affected foodstuffs are withdrawn.
"Obviously, it is impossible to contact everyone but our approach is proportionate to the very low risk."
A Food Standard Agency (FSA) spokesman added: "The risk is very small. "Local authorities are routinely asked to inform and check that food businesses – including the catering departments of schools and hospitals – are withdrawing affected products."
Ispwich Borough Council has concentrated much of its efforts on helping smaller retailers understand which products are affected.
"The food alert has been relatively affective," Ms Bryant said.
"They are taking responsibility for it themselves."
Further information and an up to date list of affected foods is available from the Food Standards Agency website www.food.gov.uk or by contacting the Ipswich Borough Council food safety team on 01473 433019.