The agency issued a Category C food hazard warning, following the discovery the dye in further batches of Natco brand Tandoori Masala Spice Mix. The Agency issued an earlier warning about certain batches of the same Natco Tandoori Masala Spice Mix back in October 2003.
The product is sold in 100g and 400g clear plastic bags with black lettering on a yellow background. The agency has informed local authorities that if any of the product is found on sale or in food catering premises, it is to be immediately withdrawn by enforcement officers.
The agency also issued a category C hazard warning for products distributed by Sita Spices after Sudan I was also found in products the company distributed throughout the UK.
The agency said that both companies had begun a withdrawal of all the products in question, following the warning and consultations.
Although there is said to be no immediate threat of illness, Sudan I has been scientifically proven to be a cancer-causing substance. The scientific research suggests that those most at risk would be individuals eating contaminated chilli power regularly and over a long time.
Sudan I is not a permitted colour under the Colours in Food Regulations 1995. Currently its presence, at any level, is not permitted in foodstuffs for any purpose.