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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 February, 2005, 17:46 GMT
More food contaminated with dye
Pizza
Some brands of pizza are affected
More food items have been identified as being contaminated with Sudan I dye - bringing the total to 474.

The Food Standards Agency says the vast majority of contaminated products have now been removed from shops.

The FSA had given companies until noon on Thursay to clear their shelves of contaminated items.

Local authorities will be carrying out checks and firms that have not complied with the instruction could face substantial fines.

RECALLED FOOD
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Sudan I has been shown to cause cancer in mice, but the risk to humans who eat the affected food is thought to be extremely low.

David Statham, FSA director of enforcement, said: "This has been an enormous undertaking.

"Hundreds of products have been affected in thousands of shops. The vast majority of contaminated foods has now been removed and that provides some reassurance to consumers.

"However, there may be some products remaining both in shops and in the catering sector and we will continue to work with local authorities to remove them as far is practical and achievable."

Mr Statham said although the risk to health was very small, consumers should not have been exposed to contaminated products.

"We have worked hard to ensure that food companies meet their responsibilities to consumers. Local authorities will check what actions have been taken.

"We will also work with them in considering what enforcement action may be appropriate following these investigations."

Inspections

During the week the FSA has worked with local authorities to carry out inspections of companies and factories allegedly involved in the supply of contaminated foods.

Inspections have taken place at East Anglian Food Ingredients, based in Clacton, Essex; Unbar Rothon, based in Billericay, Essex; and Premier Foods, based in Long Sutton, Lincolnshire.

Unbar Rothon also had its premises at Clacton inspected and Premier Foods have a site at Oldham which was visited.

Samples have been taken for further analysis.

The information will form part of the FSA's wider investigation to establish how the contamination happened.

The Institute of Environmental Health said there could not be any guarantees that all affected foods would be taken off shelves by Thursday.

But the institute's Jenny Morris said: "There are so many people working on this, there is so much publicity around it, that I think there's a good chance of getting most of the affected products out of the way."

The recall of products is the biggest in British history, involving soups, sauces, crisps and ready meals, and is estimated to be costing 100m.

Food and Drink Federation Deputy Director General Martin Paterson praised food manufacturers for the astonishing speed and spirit of cooperation with which they had responded to the recall advice.


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Time is running out to remove affected products



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