Warning over tainted chilli products

SOME seasonings, relishes and sauces are being withdrawn from food shop shelves because they could cause cancer if used over a prolonged period.Environmental health and trading standards departments across Suffolk are working with the Food Standards Agency as part of a national campaign to alert retail and catering outlets to the danger posed by particular batches of products on sale.

SOME seasonings, relishes and sauces are being withdrawn from food shop shelves because they could cause cancer if used over a prolonged period.

Environmental health and trading standards departments across Suffolk are working with the Food Standards Agency as part of a national campaign to alert retail and catering outlets to the danger posed by particular batches of products on sale.

Companies are being asked to withdraw and recall contaminated products as soon as they are identified.

Particular batches of some seasonings, relishes and sauces have been found to contain chilli powder contaminated with the dye Sudan I, a chemical that could cause cancer if consumed regularly over a long period of time.

Not all chilli powder, nor all products with chilli in them, are affected. Fresh chilli is not affected, nor are new supplies of chilli powder as this is checked at ports to ensure it tests negative for Sudan I before it is allowed into the country.

New EC rules which came into force on July 30 this year now require certificates to accompany dried, crushed or ground chilli coming into any EU member State to show that these products have been tested and found to be free of Sudan I.

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Random sampling is being undertaken by local authorities and all products found to contain Sudan I will be seized and destroyed.

People can contact their local environmental health department at their district council or Trading Standards at Suffolk Country Council for more information.

Among items likely to be affected are Rajah Tandoori Masala and other Rajah products and some Shaws' relishes and sauces.

For a full list of possible foods people can visit the Food Standards Agency website at www.food.gov.uk.

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