Dog owners have been urged to avoid palm oil after it was washed up on Seaford Beach over the weekend.
During Sunday’s beach-clean volunteers discovered a large block of palm oil on the beach not far from the Martello Tower.
Cllr Phillip Boorman said: “We were busy clearing up bottles, lighters and huge quantities of fishing line when we came across a waxy substance, about 12-13 inches long.
“It was unmistakably palm oil.
“We contacted the Coastguard who then contacted Lewes District Council who disposed of it.”
Solid palm oil is a whitish, waxy substance that smells like diesel fuel. It can make dogs sick if ingested and in extreme cases can prove fatal.
A spokesman for Lewes District Council said: “We advise dog owners to keep their animals on a lead and make sure they keep well away from any deposits of palm oil that have been washed up by the tide.
“It has been found at Seaford Beach but could wash up on other parts of the coast.”
Environmental health officers have confirmed that palm oil does not pose a threat to human health.
Palm oil has a wide variety of uses and is found in food, soaps and shampoos, and biofuels.
Anyone who finds palm oil on beach areas should report it online at www.lewes-eastbourne.gov.uk/contact-us