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11 April 2007

Sudan Red contamination list grows

Nine more food products have tested positive for containing low levels of the prohibited Sudan Red chemical dye, the health department said on Thursday.

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Nine more food products have tested positive for containing low levels of the prohibited Sudan Red chemical dye, the health department said on Thursday.

The dye was used illegally in food products such as chilli powder, spices, sauces and related products.

The department of health's forensic chemistry laboratories confirmed the following products as contaminated with the illegal colorant:

  • Spice Time Cayenne Pepper;
  • Spice Time Portuguese Chicken Spice;
  • Spice Time Peri-Peri;
  • Gihwala's Cayenne Pepper;
  • Eastern Gem Peri-Peri Spice;
  • Hinds Cayenne Pepper;
  • Spice Mecca Father-in-law Spice;
  • Chohan Spice Portuguese Spice; and
  • Special Chillie Hot Chillie.

"The latest confirmation brings to 24 the total number of products that tested positive for the dye since the department embarked on a countrywide campaign to conduct random sampling and testing of various foodstuffs containing chilli powder," the department said in a statement.

"Implicated companies and affected retailers are therefore requested to recall these products nationally and also to ensure that any chilli powder and related food substances in their possession do not contain the prohibited dye."

Consumers who might have any of the listed products at home were advised to dispose of them.

The food industry has also undertaken to co-operate with the department to ensure that there is no food contamination, the department said.

Industry undertook to have all the new batches of foodstuffs containing chilli powder tested and marked with declaratory stickers.

Below is the full list of contaminated products:

  • Spice Time Cayenne Pepper;
  • Spice Time Portuguese Chicken Spice;
  • Spice Time Peri-Peri;
  • Gihwala's Cayenne Pepper;
  • Eastern Gem Peri-Peri Spice;
  • Hinds Cayenne Pepper;
  • Spice Mecca Father-in-law Spice;
  • Chohan Spice Portuguese Spice;
  • Special Chillie Hot Chillie;
  • Robertson's Peri Peri Spice;
  • Osman's Taj Mahal Chilli Powder;
  • Osman's Taj Mahal Extra Special Curry Powder (Medium);
  • Allifa's Extra Special Curry Powder;
  • Bombay Special Peri Peri Spice;
  • Adamson Spices Mother-in-law Spice;
  • Adamson Spices Chicken Tikka Spice;
  • Adamson Spices Hot Curry Powder;
  • Chiefs Mango Achar Spicy;
  • Ma's Spices Fine Chilli Powder;
  • Ma's Spices Curry Powder;
  • Hinds Peri-Peri Spice;
  • Spice Time Barbeque Spice;
  • Packo Peri-Peri Sauce; and
  • Helderberg Spice Peri-Peri Sauce.

A large number of these products has already been recalled from South Africa's main retail outlets and some voluntarily removed the foodstuff off their shelves.

In addition, provincial and local authorities have also moved swiftly to ensure effective enforcement of the recalling process with special emphasis on small and medium size retailers.

Meanwhile, local and port health authorities will continue with their ongoing campaign to sample chilli powder and related products that come into the country via the ports, reports government news agency BuaNews.

"Where any Sudan dyes are detected, the relevant products would be removed or destroyed," BuaNews quoted the department as saying.

Although the dye contains chemicals that could increase the risk of cancer, the department said there was no risk of immediate illness to exposed consumers. – (Sapa)

 
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