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Food Safety Focus (31st Issue, February 2009) – Food Incident Highlight

Red 2G in Melon Seeds and Chinese Sausage

Under the recent seasonal surveillance programme on Chinese New Year foods by the Centre for Food Safety (CFS), samples of red melon seeds and Chinese pork sausage were found to contain Red 2G, a colourant which is no longer permitted to be used in food. The sale of the products was stopped as a result.

Red 2G is a stable synthetic dye which can impart a range of red colours in food. Recent scientific evidence from organisations like European Food Safety Authority suggests that Red 2G may damage genes as one of its breakdown products may cause cancer in human when the colourant is consumed in the long term.

In view of this scientific development, Red 2G has not been permitted to be used in food since 1 December 2008 . The trade should ensure that Red 2G is not used in their products.