The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is currently evaluating the safety of a number of smoke flavourings. EFSA’s evaluation has shown that in laboratory tests a smoke flavouring, FF-B, can
be regarded as weakly genotoxic in animals, that is, it can damage the genetic material in cells.
As a result of publication of the EFSA evaluation, the Food Standards Agency has consulted with stakeholders to establish the level of use of this product in the UK.
The Agency has received information from the European Commission (EC) which shows that FF-B constitutes less than five percent of the entire European smoke flavouring market and current data
indicates that the level of usage, if any, in the UK is likely to be extremely low. In addition, from the information available, the risk to consumers from eating food containing smoke
flavourings derived from FF-B is likely to be very small.
The EC has also confirmed that FF-B is mainly used in products with a short shelf life and that the producer replaced this product with an alternative in April 2007. The producer has since
recalled any FF-B that remained on the market.
The Agency will continue to liaise with stakeholders, including EFSA and the EC about this issue and will review the situation if new information becomes available.