Following the successful prosecution of East Anglian Food Ingredients Ltd by East Sussex County Council, the Food Standards Agency has said that it demonstrates that food companies’ legal responsibility to ensure quality and safety will be enforced.

The company was prosecuted for using the illegal dye Sudan I after local authorities were alerted to the problem in July 2005. The company was fined GBP2000 (US$3498) and ordered to pay GBP3000 in legal expenses.

David Statham, director of enforcement at the Food Standards Agency said: “Food companies have a legal responsibility to ensure that the food they sell is safe and fit for human consumption.

“I very much welcome the outcome of this investigation. This successful prosecution is the result of a lot of hard work by Essex County Council officials during a long investigation.”

Investigations by other local authorities into other aspects of the alleged use of Sudan I in foods and food ingredients are ongoing.