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CFIA Tests over a Thousand Samples of Selected Foods for Food Colours and Finds 96.2 Percent Compliance


Ottawa: A study released today by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) found that more than 96 percent of food colours tested in selected foods were compliant with Canada’s Food and Drug Regulations. The CFIA acted on all samples containing non-compliant levels of food colours.

The CFIA analyzed a total of 1,546 samples of both domestic and imported origin. Samples tested were those likely to contain non-permitted colours and dyes, including palm oils, red Asian/chili spices, and products that might contain those spices.

The survey found that 990 of the 1,546 samples (64 percent) did not have detectable levels of food colours, while 498 samples contained detectable food colours in compliance with the Food and Drug Regulations, reflecting a compliance rate of over 96 percent.

Fifty-eight (58) samples were found to be in violation of Canadian food colour additive regulations. Based on Health Canada’s risk assessment, it was necessary to issue two Class II recalls in May 2011 – one for palm oil and one for curry powder. A Class II recall is initiated for a food product when consuming that product will most likely lead to short-term or non-life threatening health problems. The chance of any serious health symptoms is low in healthy populations. No illnesses were reported.

The CFIA routinely conducts targeted surveys of various food products for specific hazards to determine if they pose a potential health risk to consumers. If a human health risk is determined, a recall is issued immediately.


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