A POTENTIALLY cancer-causing dye has been found in pasta sauces.
Thousands of jars of the sauces are being recalled and consumers have been warned not to eat them.
The brands affected include Bertolli, as well as own-label sauces made for supermarket chains Sainsbury's and Safeway.
The alert follows the discovery of a red dye, Sudan 1, in chilli powder used in the sauces.
A similar alert was sounded three months ago for products made by Shaws Pickles, of Huddersfield.
Shaws safely recalled all affected products.
The chemical is normally used for industrial purposes in solvents, petrol and shoe polish and is banned in food.
Authorities in France raised the alarm.
The European Union then ordered countries to examine imports of ground chilli, in addition to running random tests on products.
Three companies in India have been identified as the source of the contamination.
The amounts of contaminated chilli powder are not considered to be any immediate health risk.
The Safeway branded products are jars of Red Pesto (190g), Sun-dried Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar Stir-in Sauce (150g), and Chargrilled Red Pepper and Vegetable Stir-in Sauce (150g).
The Sainsbury products are Italian Tomato and Mascarpone Stir-in Sauce (150g), Italian Sun-dried Tomato and Balsamic Vinegar Stir-in Sauce (150g), Be Good to Yourself Mediterranean Vegetable Stir-in Sauce (150g), and Italian Hot Mixed Peppers Pasta Sauce (500g).
The Safeway sauces have a best-before date of February, 2005, and the Sainsbury's sauces of August, 2005.
The only sauce affected in the Bertolli range is in 185g jars of Pesto Rosso.
A spokesman for Unilever Bestfoods, which makes Bertolli, said: "The dye was identified by our supplier in Italy and they told us."
A Sainsbury spokeswoman said: "A very small quantity of the dye was found, but we are recalling everything."
Bertolli users can phone 0800 146 252.