'Spice is not poisonous'

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The Department of Health has called for Robertson's peri-peri spice to be returned to supermarkets shelves.

This follows a study that has proved that the product is not contaminated with the poisonous Sudan-red dye.

A newspaper reported on Sunday that bottles of the spice, which is obtained from Unilever, contained traces of the toxic dye.

After the report, the department recalled the product from supermarket shelves as a precaution.

Sibani Mngadi, a Department of Health spokesman, said the department has advised retailers to stop removing the product from their shelves.

"Samples were submitted to the forensic chemical laboratories of the Department of Health in Pretoria and Cape Town. Neither laboratory found any trace of Sudan-red in the product.

"Therefore we are urging the authorities to inform the public and retailers about the decision," he said.

But Mngadi said the department would randomly sample the product and other chilli products said to contain traces of Sudan-red.

The five other products were Osman's Taj Mahal extra special chilli powder, Osman's Taj Mahal extra special curry powder (medium), Ma's Spices curry powder, Adamson Spices hot curry powder and Shaikhs Exotics peri-peri spice. These spices are currently being tested for the presence of the dye.