Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Massive Food Recall In UK May Have Spread To China

Here in the USA, some important headlines sometimes don't get much airtime... but this news is recent, so maybe it takes time to trickle down to the western media outlets?

Sudan 1 to IV are classified as carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and are banned under European Union rules.

Sudan 1 is a chemical red dye, and prior to 2003 could be found in many ingredients including, salsa, chili sauces, and the like.

Last month it was detected in Worcester sauce manufactured by Premier Foods and several other food products the company produces which prompted one of the largest food recalls in UK history.

Premier Foods informed shareholders on Feb. 24, 2005 that its Branston Hot and Spicy Sweet Pickle and Branston Rich and Fruity Sauce are "at once" being recalled from the shelves.

The news came a few days after the firm set off a chain recall reaction of over 420 well-known processed foods, many of which used the same chili sauce ingredient (which contained the illegal dye) as the one used to produce their Worcestershire sauce.

Used as both a tabletop sauce and food ingredient, the discovery prompted the UK's Food Standards Agency to take immediate action and pull all related products, such as Sainsburys pork sausages and Tesco's chicken and vegetable casserole, out of the consumers' reach.

According to the news in the UK, companies had up to Feb. 24, 2005 to recall products containing the illegal red dye or face prosecution.

"It is their legal responsibility to be checking their foods and to then come to us with any new information on contaminated food products," a spokesperson for the FSA stated to the press.

Food companies failing to do so face prosecution.

That's just the tip of the ice burg. There was a recent report that the problem may have also spread to China with reports that international food maker Heinz has called back chilli sauces and chilli oils that may contain the harmful, and illegal, red dye.

Now... I have to ask... have any similar products been checked here in the USA and Canada?

We'll be watching this story unfold.

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