Issued By
West Yorkshire Trading
Standards Service


West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service is joining forces with the Food Standards Agency(FSA) and local Environmental Health Departments to advise consumers about contaminated chilli powder containing an illegal dye, Sudan 1, a potentially cancer causing chemical, which has been imported from India and used in products produced by Shaws (Huddersfield) Ltd and BE International Foods, a division of HP Foods Ltd.

Sudan 1 is not a permitted food colour and is believed to be a genotoxic carcinogen and its presence, at any level, is not allowed in any foodstuffs. A trade withdrawal of all affected products is underway and officers of both the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service and the five local Environmental Health Departments will be making checks to ensure that all such product is removed from the shelves of retailers and catering establishments.

David Statham, Director of Food Standards and Enforcement at the FSA, said: 'There should not be any Sudan I in food. We have already identified some relishes, chutneys and seasonings that people should avoid and our investigations are on-going. There is no immediate threat of illness and those most at risk would be people eating contaminated products regularly over a long time. Anyone who has one of these products at home should throw it away and shops should not be selling them. Not all chilli powder, nor all products with chilli in them, are affected. Fresh chilli is not affected, nor are new supplies of chilli powder because checks at ports are now ensuring that it tests negative for Sudan I before it is allowed into the country.”

Councillor Graham Clarke, Chairman of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service added: “Thanks to the prompt action by local officers and the responsible attitude taken by Shaws, I am confident that any risks posed to consumers have been minimised. Nevertheless officers will remain vigilant and I would urge consumers to check that they dispose of any affected product. Anyone with any concerns or sees any product on sale should contact the Consumer Helpline on 0113 3 848 848”.

Details of the affected products are given below and further information and photographs of the sample products can be found on the Food Standards Agency website

For further information contact:

Graham Hebblethwaite Divisional Manager 0113 289 8218
Steven Kaye Principal Officer 0113 289 8229
Linda Davis General Media Contact 0113 2898 246

Shaws Products affected are those listed below:

The Rajah brand products listed below have been identified as containing Sudan I. The company has undertaken a full trade withdrawal of the products with any Best Before End dates up until 18th July 2005 from all their customers.

The details of the products are as follows:

These products are retailed in 100g and 400g packets. These sizes and larger sizes (1kg and 8 kg) are also sold through wholesalers.