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What are Sudan dyes ?

Sudan dyes are red dyes that are used for colouring solvents, oils, waxes, petrol, and shoe and floor polishes. They have been found in some chilli powder imported in the EU from India from 2003 to 2005, and recently in palm oil from India in the UK (2005). They have also been found in a number of food products containing the above mentioned chilli powder. Sudan dyes are not allowed to be added to food in the EU.

Sudan red I is a chemical dye and is not permitted in food. It has been classified as a carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is not found naturally in food.

Sudan IV is also considered to be a genotoxic carcinogen and its presence, at any level, is not permitted in foodstuffs for any purpose in the EU.

Investigations are continuing to identify whether any other products contain the following dyes, Sudan I, Sudan II, Sudan III and Sudan IV (otherwise known as scarlet red).

Since July 2003, cargoes of dried and crushed or ground chilli and curry powders coming into any EU Member State have to be accompanied by a certificate showing they have been tested and found to be free of Sudan I. Any consignment that does not have a certificate must be detained for sampling and analysis.

Random sampling must also be undertaken both at ports and by local authorities. The EU and local authorities randomly sample more than 1000 consignments a year of imported chilli products. All consignments found to contain Sudan I to IV must be destroyed. When a consignment is split, each part must be accompanied by a copy of the certificate.

Source : EU Food Safety news













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