The label says it is virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil but in fact it is neither and, what’s more, the Food Safety Agency (AESAN) considers it unsafe. The alarm was raised when health authorities in Murcia issued a warning about an oil which is being produced, packaged and distributed in a clandestine manner.
Analyses have shown that although the product is being sold as olive oil it is a different type, either seed oil or a mixture of vegetable seed oils. The agency believes it carries a risk to consumers’ health because there are no safeguards about its origin or content.
These are the names to look out for:
Wafa virgin olive oil (2 litres), Maakoul olive oil, Riad Al Andalus virgin olive oil (1 litre), Maysae (1 litre), virgin olive oil with no label, sold in 5 litre bottles, La Noria extra virgin olive oil (5 litres), Zannouti 3131 extra virgin olive oil (1 litre), Virgen de la Salud virgin olive oil (500 ml, 1, 2 and 5 litres), Virgen de la Salud extra virgin olive oil (500 ml) and Rahouyi extra virgin olive oil (2 litres).
Most of these products have been found in shops in Murcia, but it is known that some are being sold in Catalonia, the Basque region and Valencia and it is possible that they have been distributed to other regions as well.
The Food Safety Agency says it is not aware of anyone suffering a health problem associated with these products but it recommends that anyone who has bought them should not use them, but should return them to the shop they bought them from. It is also calling on the relevant authorities to remove them from sale.