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Mayonnaise containing engine oil on sale in France

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You may want to watch what you put on your chips John Wilbanks/Wikimedia Commons

Mayonnaise on French supermarket shelves may contain engine oil, a French weekly paper has revealed, after it emerged that a crooked company in Ukraine has sold 40,000 tonnes of sunflower oil cut with 280 tonnes of engine oil in Europe.


The fraud came to light on 21 April when the Sainol company, which owns mayonnaise maker Lesieur, alerted French fraud police that it had bought the polluted product, Le Canard Enchaîné reports.

On 26 April shops started taking products that could contain it from their shelves.

But on 2 May the authorities declared it was not necessary to withdraw products containing less than 10 percent engine oil because there was no "acute toxicity".

The European Commission, which was behind the decision, explains that a man weighing 60 kilogrammes can consume up to 1.2 grammes of engine oil without risk.

Products with more than 10 percent engine oil will still be withdrawn.