Cirio pasta sauce recall, harmful dye found

September 2, 2003, All Cirio brand Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce has been withdrawn from sale by distributor Cirio Del Monte, a unit of Italian food firm Cirio. The recall came after some batches of the pasta sauce were found to contain chili powder contaminated with the chemical dye Sudan I.

The UK's Food Standards Agency said that anyone who has purchased this pasta sauce should not eat it. It should either be returned and a refund requested from the shop where it was purchased, or thrown away. The product comes in 400g jars and was on sale in Sainsbury's, Waitrose and other retailers.

It is thought that Sudan I, a dye that is not permitted in food, could cause cancer, although there is no immediate threat of illness. Those most at risk would be people eating contaminated products regularly over a long time, the FSA said.

The round jar, which has a blue lid, is labelled Pasta Sauce Arrabbiata Chilli and has the brand name Cirio on it. The company says no other Cirio products have been affected.

The FSA said it has been investigating which food products in the UK have been affected by contaminated chilli powder since July. Several other companies have recalled a variety of contaminated food products. The chilli powder in all these products had been imported from India, where certain producers had been adulterating their product with the red dye.

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