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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 April, 2005, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Illegal dye found in dinner kits
Image of Sudan 1
The Para Red dye is similar to Sudan 1
An illegal dye, chemically similar to Sudan 1, has been found in some batches of the seasoning mix in Old El Paso Dinner Kits.

The Food Standards Agency said although any risk is likely to be very small, it is sensible people do not eat either of the two affected products.

These are the Old El Paso Enchilada Dinner Kits and Burrito Dinner Kits.

Manufacturer General Mills alerted the FSA about the contaminated batches imported into the UK from Spain.

Red dye

The FSA's independent scientific experts have advised that because the dye Para Red is chemically very similar to Sudan 1, it would be prudent to assume that it is also potentially cancer-causing.

Trace levels of Para Red were detected in a single batch of paprika
A spokesman from General Mills

An FSA spokeswoman said: "The agency is therefore taking the precautionary step of advising people not to eat any of the contaminated food.

"People should return the product to the store where they purchased it, or direct to the manufacturer.

"They will receive a full cash refund or a replacement pack."

A spokesman from General Mills said: "Old El Paso uses the latest equipment, manufacturing, distribution and storage procedures.

"Every precaution is taken to ensure the safety of our products and we demand this of all our suppliers.

"As part of our continued commitment to food safety, our supplier recently extended its testing program.

"As a result of this, trace levels of Para Red were detected in a single batch of paprika.


"We have been working with the Food Standards Agency and other authorities to swiftly resolve the situation.

"We have also sought input from other expert advisers who have confirmed that the risk to health is negligible."

He said any customers who were concerned could call their helpline, 0800 028 0089.

"We are advising customers who have bought the relevant packs to return them to the store where they bought them.

"There, they will receive a replacement pack or a full refund," he said.

The batches identified are:


  • Batch Code 2501073323 Best Before 30/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073131 Best Before 01/11/05
  • Batch Code 2501072459 Best Before 31/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501075049 Best Before 15/11/05
  • Batch Code 2501075796 Best Before 15/11/05


  • Batch Code 2501070617 Best Before 11/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501071455 Best Before 12/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501072553 Best Before 22/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073179 Best Before 17/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073419 Best Before 20/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073302 Best Before 17/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073177 Best Before 30/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073180 Best Before 21/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501073178 Best Before 15/10/05
  • Batch Code 2501075072 Best Before 15/10/05

No other batch or date codes of these products are known to be affected.

Q&A: Sudan I
21 Feb 05 |  Health

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