The European Commission is extending controls for Sudan dyes to include imports of curcuma and virgin palm oil as well as chilli and chilli products, and has published a new leaflet to remind food and feed operators of their responsibilities for food safety.

EU Member States have endorsed a Commission proposal to add curcuma and virgin palm oil to the list of food products which must be certified as free of Sudan dyes (Sudan I, II, III and Scarlet Red/Sudan IV) in order to be imported into the EU.

"The Commission has had strong safeguards in place against the dangers of carcinogens such as Sudan dyes for some years now and has kept these under continuous review. One of the lessons we have learned from the recent Sudan 1 contamination is that we need to extend controls for Sudan to products other than chilli in order to ensure the highest possible levels of protection for European consumers. I would urge all food operators and Member State authorities to ensure that products containing these dyes do not enter the EU market, this is their responsibility," said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Markos Kyprianou.

The Commission said it is publishing a leaflet for the food industry to provide them with an 'at a glance' reminder of their obligations for food safety.

"Partly because of the detection of Sudan 1 dye in hundreds of food products in the UK in February, the Commission considered it useful to remind food operators again of their obligations under EU Food Law through this seven-point leaflet on food safety for food and feed operators," the Commission said.

The leaflet "Key Obligations of Food and Feed Business Operators" can be found here.