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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) could face legal action from the Lidl supermarket chain after it was alleged that one of its wines could trigger an asthma attack. Lidl admitted that tests revealed high levels of sulphur dioxide in a small batch of 2002 Creston Bay Cabernet/Shiraz, which is produced by Chambers Creek Wines, a subsidiary of Kingston Estate. Lidl withdrew all bottles, not just the 2002 vintage, and a spokeswoman added that the affected batch only comprised a very limited amount of the product' - but the FSA's website has advised local authorities that all 2002 bottles be withdrawn, and it claims that the sulphur dioxide in the Creston Bay batch was 17 times the permitted level. A spokeswoman for Lidl commented: A customer in Germany drank the wine and made a complaint. It was tested and found to have a high level of sulphur dioxide. The FSA has said that all batches were contaminated. We chose to recall the product as a precautionary measure. Our testing so far hasn't revealed any associated health risk with that product. The matter has been passed to our solicitors for consideration.' But an FSA spokeswoman replied: I've spoken to our toxicologist regarding the sulphur dioxide and she said that the levels are actually 17 times higher than they should be. There is such a high concentration of sulphur dioxide in the headspace, that for asthma sufferers, it could trigger an asthma attack. We've based the assessment on the information provided by Lidl, and we stand by that.' The Lidl spokeswoman refused to admit how many bottles had been withdrawn, and said she didn't know when Creston Bay would be back on the shelves.