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Last Updated: Tuesday, 22 February, 2005, 13:07 GMT
MP moves to protect famous sauce
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce
The sauce has been made in Worcester since 1835
Worcester's MP has tabled a Commons motion to try to protect the reputation of the city's most famous foodstuff, in the wake of the Sudan 1 dye scare.

Michael Foster hopes to make it clear Lea & Perrins' Worcestershire Sauce is not involved.

The cancer scare centres around rival company Premier Foods' chilli powder, which was used in a Worcester sauce then used to make other products.

Mr Foster said he feared many people were confused about what they can eat.

We are getting caught in the crossfire
Andy Taylor, Lea & Perrins

The text of the Early Day Motion (EDM) calls on MPs to continue to use the original Lea & Perrins sauce "which is only linked by name to the product involved in the food scare".

It also calls on the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to state clearly on its website that "Lea & Perrins uses only the highest quality and certified safe ingredients in its sauce".

Andy Taylor, a director of Lea & Perrins' parent company HP Foods, told BBC News: "The confusion is out there in the minds of the customers.

Sausages

"Since this scare broke, because we have 99% of the retail share, people think Worcester sauce is Lea & Perrins.

"Unfortunately, we are getting caught in the crossfire," he said.

"There is some confusion among consumers and if this helps them realise the facts then that's fantastic news."

Mr Taylor said the company's helpline had already taken 3,500 calls from concerned consumers since Friday.

He added that HP Foods was still trying to work out what the effect has been on sales of Worcestershire Sauce.

Michael Foster MP
Michael Foster hopes to end any confusion over the issue

Commenting on the EDM, Mr Foster said: "Whilst we know the difference (between our local sauce and that of the rival brand) my fear is that the vast majority of the country may be unsure.

"That is why I have tabled this motion, to make people aware."

Thirty-five people work at Lea & Perrins in Worcester, where the sauce has been made since 1835.

Premier Foods has said it had been assured the chilli powder at the centre of the scare did not contain Sudan 1.


SEE ALSO:
Q&A: Sudan I
21 Feb 05 |  Health
Death threat to anti-hunting MP
05 Oct 04 |  Hereford/Worcs
Early Day Motion
17 Aug 00 |  E-G


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