Cancer-causing dye sparks palm oil recall

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Palm oil Petroleum Food standards agency

The FSA has urged shoppers not to consume the product
The FSA has urged shoppers not to consume the product
The presence of a cancer-causing dye, Sudan IV, in palm oil products sold at a London cash and carry has prompted the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to issue a recall notice.

Sparking unsettling memories of the Sudan 1 scandal in 2005, the recall concerns unlabelled Ghanaian palm oil containing the illegal dye, which is genotoxic and carcinogenic. The oil was sold by Kemtoy Miyan Cash & Carry of Rotherhithe New Road, London.

The product contained a significant level of the dye Sudan IV, which caused the food to be unsafe for the purposes of Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, said the FSA​. It additionally breached Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council on food additives, it said.

Colouring solvents

Sudan dyes are red dyes that are used for colouring solvents, oils, waxes, petrol, and shoe and floor polishes.

“Despite investigations by the enforcement authority, it had not been possible to obtain the full distribution details or traceability records for the product,”​ the FSA said.

“The food business operator does not have any records or invoices for the purchase of the palm oil or customer details. The food business operator has stated that the importer comes from the Dalston area. The FSA believes that distribution covers the London area only.”

No label

The palm oil was packaged in clear plastic containers with a red screw top and had no label, according to the FSA.

To help food safety officers correctly identify the product, the FSA has issued pictures of the packaging​.

It urged shoppers not to consume the product if they had bought it.

The discovery of the carcinogenic red azo dye Sudan 1 in dry chilli used in Premier Foods’s Worcester sauce sparked a massive product recall in 2005​.

Recalled product specs

  • Product: palm oil
  • Description: red coloured oil
  • Plastic container sizes: 1 litre, 2.5 litres and  5 litres
  • Labelling: none

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