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Last Updated: Monday, 28 February, 2005, 16:45 GMT
More suppliers join Sudan I list
Sudan I
Sausages are one of the products affected by the recall
More than 150 small catering suppliers have been embroiled in the Sudan I food dye controversy, it has been confirmed.

Public health minister Melanie Johnson said the Food Standards Agency (FSA) was not yet able to confirm the type of outlets the companies supplied.

The firms have withdrawn the relevant products, which would be listed on the FSA website soon, she added.

Some large suppliers had already been named as affected by the alert, in which 474 products have been recalled.

Those previously named had dealt with pubs, restaurants, schools and hospitals.

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.

In a written statement to MPs, Ms Johnson said major catering suppliers had been contacted by the FSA, and the affected products included in the lists on the agency's website.

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"More than 150 smaller companies who received contaminated products have also withdrawn products from their customers and these products will be listed on the (FSA) website as soon as information becomes available," she said.

The FSA had given companies until last Thursday 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.

The dye was contained in a chilli powder which was used to a make Worcester sauce, and then subsequently added to a range of products.

David Statham, FSA director of enforcement, said the recall had been an "enormous undertaking".

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

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

Tracking down the source of the Sudan I dye

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