West Yorkshire Trading Standards are in the news today about a food decoration or sprinkles used by a Leeds baker on biscuits. The decoration is imported from the US and contains E127 food colouring, also known as Erythrosine. This synthetic colourant is only approved for use in cocktail cherries and candied cherries in the UK and EU.
Adam Hardgrave, the head of food additives policy at the Food Standards Agency, said: “All food additives are subject to a robust risk assessment and authorisation process to make sure they are suitable for consumption. This colouring is only permitted for use in certain foods to ensure consumers do not exceed the acceptable daily intake level.” Whilst West Yorkshire Trading Standards said: “We can confirm that we have advised the business concerned , the use of E127 is not permitted in this type of confectionery item. We stand by this advice and would urge all food business operators, when seeking to use imported foods containing additives, to check that they are permitted for use in the UK.”
Additives are only permitted to be used in certain foods and are subject to specific quantitative limits. Ingredients permissible in the US may not comply with UK food additives legislation. Food businesses should use extra caution when sourcing ingredients from outside the UK/ EU and should check that all ingredients are used.
Do get in touch if you need help identifying whether your ingredients comply.