The Food Standards Agency says that Ebenezer Foods palm oil has been found to be contaminated with the illegal dye, Sudan IV.

Sudan IV is not a permitted colour under the Colours in Food Regulations 1995, the agency said. It is considered to be a genotoxic carcinogen and its presence, at any level, is not permitted in foodstuffs for any purpose.

So far the following size and date code of this product is known to be contaminated: Ebenezer Foods Palm Oil, 480ml, Best Before 30/09/05

According to the label, this brand of palm oil product is distributed by Ebenezer Foods of Northolt in Middlesex. Despite investigation by the local authority, the agency has no details of distribution, other than that it is thought to be confined to the London area. This product appears to be distributed through direct van sales, where retailers who sell African or African-Caribbean food products are the main clients, it said.