UK's food watchdog issues new warning after illegal colour in food chain, chemically similar to Sudan 1, detected in Mexican food kits supplied by General Mills.
The Food Standards Agency recommended that, although at the levels found any risk is likely to be very small, consumers should avoid eating either of the two affected products, OId El Paso Enchilada and Burrito dinner kits.
The withdrawal kicked off after US food maker General Mills detected trace levels of Para Red, not permitted under the Colours in Food Regulations 1995, in batches of paprika present in a seasoning mix of one of its Old El Paso products.
The first time Para Red has been detected in the UK food chain, General Mills alerted the FSA about the contaminated batches imported into the UK from Spain.
This latest recall hit the headlines in UK press, clear evidence that sensitivities to food safety are running high in a country still reeling from the massive food recall that sparked off in February, after Sudan 1, a carcinogenic food colour, was identified in over 600 processed food products.
Para Red (paranitraniline red), a chemical used to dye fabrics a brilliant red, is chemically very similar to Sudan 1, said the FSA, advising that although "there is very limited data available it would be prudent to assume that it could be a genotoxic carcinogen."
A statement issued on behalf of Old El Paso said: "This action is been taken as a precautionary measure after learning that a very limited number of these products may contain paprika with extremely low levels of the dye Para Red that is not permitted for use in food."
Full details of the recalled batches are accessible on the FSA website.