A dye added to sausages and burgers to make them look fresher was at the centre of a cancer scare last night.
A European food watchdog said it was no longer safe to eat products containing the additive Red 2G after tests showed it caused cancer in rats and mice.
The red dye - also known as E128 - is most often used in cheap sausages and burgers to give the impression of a higher meat content.
The warning was issued by the European Food Safety Authority which said the colourant was a "safety concern".
The UK's Food Standards Agency will meet manufacturers today to discuss the extent to which the dye is used in British food.
Industry experts last night warned it could also be found in cheap varieties of jams and preserves.
Under current European Union food laws, limited amounts of Red 2G are permitted for use only in certain types of sausages and burger meat.
But food industry sources said these included nearly all burgers and sausages sold in Britain.
Malcolm Kane, an independent safety consultant, said Red 2G belongs to a group of dyes which have been linked to cancer for a number of years.
Source - Daily Mail