Illegal dyes found in food in Calderdale

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A businessman was found guilty of placing food on the market in Calderldale containing Rhodamine B, an unauthorised additive.

Javid Iqbal the owner of La Jawab, a Luton based business, was fined £3000, ordered to pay £2200 prosecution costs and pay £100 victim surcharge at Leeds Magistrates court.

Rhodamine B is not a permitted food additive and is considered to be carcinogenic and genotoxic.

In September 2014 and January 2015 as part of routine sampling work, Officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards sampled sugar coated fennel seeds from premises in Leeds and Calderdale.

Upon testing by the Public Analyst it was discovered that the pink fennel seeds contained Rhodamine B.

When interviewed Mr Iqbal stated he had not undertaken any testing on these imported products to ensure their compliance with EU legislation.

To place these products on the market is an offence under Regulation 3 of the Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents (England) Regulations 2013. Iqbal was found guilty of this charge.

David Lodge, Head of Trading Standards said: “Consumers rightly expect the food they buy to be safe.

“This trader failed to ensure that food that he was importing into the EU met legal requirements and was safe for consumption. Trading Standards will continue to take action against food businesses that break the law.”

Councillor Pauline Grahame, Deputy Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards added: “West Yorkshire Trading Standards is committed to protecting the health of West Yorkshire citizens.

“Food businesses must take steps to ensure all the food they import, produce and sell is safe, legal and that they have adequate traceability systems in place.

“The sale of unsafe food is an offence and samples are taken to identify those businesses failing to comply with the law.”

If anyone suspects that any food on sale fails to comply with the law please contact Trading Standards, via the Citizens Advice Bureau on 03454 040506 to report the matter.