A WATCHDOG has sparked a nationwide alert after warning consumers not to eat an array of pastries and snacks including steak pies, curry pies and sausage rolls that have been available in Scottish shops.

Food Standards Scotland took action after they found SoloSnack-branded products from Eat & Go Co in Kirkcaldy in Fife were being sold beyond their sell-by date.

And they have alerted heads of environmental health services across Scotland requesting they identify food businesses which are likely to stock the products and ensure they are withdrawn from sale. But the move has sparked a row with the company who insisted the authorities were wrong to issue the notice.

HeraldScotland:

Eat & Go Co managing director Naji Yassen said he was told for the first time on Friday the products should have a three-day shelf life, lower than the shelf life he has been operating under over several years.

He said: "I feel absolutely upset and angry because I have been doing this for 20 years.

"We've had no problem whatsoever with anybody. How come all of a sudden the six days is too long?"

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He said such the shelf life suggested would effectively mean the products are in the shops for one day only - a situation he said would mean there is "no way" his business could survive.

It had been believed that customers are limited to Fife, Edinburgh and Dundee, but FSS admit that distribution and product traceability cannot be verified. But they say there could be "onward distribution" to other parts of the UK.

FSS and Fife Council have both said they cannot be sure of the numbers of products that are affected.

HeraldScotland:

The SoloSnack range covers everything from Scotch pies, bridies and pasties to sandwiches, tuna pasta salads, pasta bakes and cheeseburgers.

FSS said that despite investigations from officials, it had not been possible to obtain the full distribution details or product traceability records for the products. The watchdog said Eat & Go undertook a voluntary product recall on Saturday following inspection locally, where it was discovered that the shelf life was being extended.

A Remedial Action Notice (RAN) was served on the company to restrict the shelf life of the products, however further products were found on sale on Monday with the shelf life extended, breaching the RAN.

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Messages to environmental health services heads from FSS says: "Local Authorities should ensure that this withdrawal is effective and that the products to which it applies are not placed on the market, if necessary using powers available to them under the Food Safety Act 1990, the General Food Regulations 2004, and the Food Hygiene (Scotland) Regulations 2006."

Mr Yassen said he has called in microbiologists to carry out testing on Wednesday and is hopeful the longer six-day shelf life will be reinstated following the results of those tests.

Mr Yassen said the business has a "good market and good sales", and he insisted that the alert had not been issued in response to any public health incident.