Two-thirds of oil withdrawn

Authorities said yesterday they have recalled two-thirds of contaminated sunflower oil that had been imported from Ukraine and promised to review food product safety checks applied by officials. «What is being stored by supermarkets or traders and has been taken off supermarket shelves but has yet to be returned (to authorities) is not included in this figure,» said Deputy Development Minister Giorgos Vlachos. The sunflower oil had been imported by a Greek company called Manos, which then refined it and sold it to a number of other local firms, including Minerva and Elais. Mineral oil, a by-product of the distillation of petroleum, can be harmful, particularly for children, if consumed. Health experts, however, have been trying to ease consumer fears in the last few days by saying the oil is harmless if consumed in small quantities. «If we find any shortcomings (in food checks), we will assess them and apportion blame to those responsible,» added Vlachos.