More food oil taken off market

A second company announced yesterday the withdrawal of its sunflower oil as Greece’s food watchdog was accused of failing to act promptly to stop products tainted with potentially harmful mineral oil from finding their way onto the market. Elais-Unilever followed Minerva in saying that it would withdraw its bottles of sunflower oil from stores but assured consumers that it was only a precautionary measure. Elais received some 250 tons of a batch of 935 tons of Ukrainian sunflower oil thought to have been contaminated. Another shipment of 835 tons has been seized but a batch of 1.2 tons has been distributed to 15 companies in Greece and its whereabouts have not yet been identified. The Hellenic Food Authority (EFET) was criticized by opposition politicians for not reacting on April 23 when French authorities first detected that contaminated sunflower oil had been exported from Ukraine. EFET said that it was not informed until May 6 that shipments to Greece may also have been affected.