The EU is mulling a ban of imports of sunflower oil from Ukraine due to fears of contamination with mineral oil, a spokesperson for the European Commission confirmed.

The Ukrainian government has been unable to guarantee the safety of sunflower oil shipments, after they were transported in a container that had previously carried mineral oil and which had not been cleaned properly.

"The sunflower oil has been contaminated with hydrocarbons and carries carcinogens," a spokesperson for the EU told just-food from Brussels today (22 May). "We had requested the Ukrainian authorities to guarantee that no contaminated oil be exported to the EU. The deadline for this commitment passed yesterday. We are now taking the steps necessary to safeguard European consumers."

In April, some 40,000 tonnes of contaminated oil were exported to France from the Ukraine, where it was split into seven batches and resold to customers from France, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.