Alerts

Allergy Alert: Blakemans Sausages

From the Food Standards Agency:

Blakemans withdraws its own brand Thin Natural Pork Sausages and Thin Pork Collagen Sausages due to the presence of undeclared wheat gluten and sulphites

Because wheat (gluten) and sulphites have not been declared on the label of the above products, they are a potential health risk to people allergic or sensitive to wheat /gluten and sulphites.

How to identify these products:

Blakemans Thin Natural Pork Sausages (454g)
Blakemans Thin Collagen Pork Sausages (454g)

All date codes between 29/09/09 until 08/10/09.

If you’ve bought these sausages and need to be gluten free – don’t eat them!

Allergy Alert: Bernard Matthews Chunky Tikka Turkey

Sigh. Another alert.

Farmfoods and Morrisons have withdrawn certain batches of Bernard Matthews Chunky Tikka Turkey because of “incorrect gluten free labelling and the presence of wheat”. Apparently higher levels of wheat gluten than expected were detected on testing.

Product Details:

Chunky Tikka Turkey, 110g. Clear plastic pack.
Date codes – Use by 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 29 and 30 September 2009. 3, 4 and 7 October 2009.

If you’ve bought this product, don’t eat it but take it back to the place you bought it from. (Actually, of course, if you bought anything with a use by date before today, you probably have eaten it already).

More information on www.food.gov.uk

Allergy Alert: Asda own brand ham

I’ve received an alert from the Food Standards Agency: Asda have withdrawn their own brand extra special wiltshire style ham, because of undeclared wheat and gluten.

Alert:

Asda Extra Special Wiltshire Style Ham 500g with a ‘use by’ of 7 September 2009 contains bread crumb. The product contains wheat that is not declared on the label and is a potential health risk for those allergic or intolerant to wheat or gluten.

The company has withdrawn the affected product and has contacted the relevant allergy support organisations, which will inform their at-risk members of the withdrawal. Notices are being displayed in all stores to alert consumers to the reasons for the withdrawal and the actions they can take if they have purchased the product.

If you’ve bought this product, then don’t eat it; take it back for a refund. You don’t need your receipt. If you need any further information please contact Asda Customer Relations on 0500 100 055

Allergy Alert: Tesco’s Lamb Rogan Josh

tesco-lamb-rogan-joshThis came across my desk yesterday (so I hope you didn’t settle down to a nice Tesco Lamb Rogan Josh last night!)

There are a couple of issues with Tesco’s own brand Rogan Josh meals. The first is that somehow, in production, pork sausage has been added. As a result, the meals now contain wheat (and soya and sulphites).

The alert that I received was to let me know that there is wheat in the Rogan Josh meals; but I wonder whether they thought to alert people to the potential presence of pork? As we know, not everybody is happy to eat pork, and this might well be an issue for them. I wonder if the Food Standards Agency (FSA) issues Pork Alerts?

These are the affected ready meals:

Tesco Indian Meal for 2: Tikka & Lamb Rogan Josh, 1560g
Tesco Lamb Rogan Josh, 350g
Tesco Lamb Rogan Josh with Pilau Rice, 550g

All date codes of the above products are affected. (All! How long did it take them to notice that they’d accidentally been adding pork sausages to a lamb rogan josh?)

According to the FSA, Tesco has recalled the affected products and has contacted the relevant allergy support organisations, which will inform their at-risk members of the recall. Notices are being displayed in all stores to alert consumers.

Unfortunately, I can still buy this product online at Tesco, and there’s no allergy alert associated with the product. There should be! The ingredients list doesn’t mention pork sausages, nor wheat, soya or sulphites. Perhaps they would substitute the product before delivery – but I do think that if the product has been recalled, it shouldn’t be on the site for purchase.

So, if you have some of these ready meals in your fridge or freezer, don’t eat them, but take them back to Tesco for a refund.

Tesco asks for ideas from coeliacs

tescoAbsolutely astonished this morning to see that one of Tesco’s buyers has posted on the gluten free messageboard, asking what the gluten free community would like to see in store.

I’ve posted before about Sainsbury’s target in their CSR strategy of being the number one choice for customers with allergies or intolerances … at the moment, Sainsbury are my number one choice of supermarket for gluten free products, because of their wider range. Sainsbury is one of Tesco’s major competitors, so I’m delighted to see Tesco taking an interest too. And in all this talk about social media, it is great to see that such a big company has decided to take action and discuss matters with a niche group of consumers. Good for Tesco!

They’re particularly interested in creating a frozen range at the moment: I’d like to see some options that are both vegetarian and gluten free. So often the veggie options are padded out with breadcrumbs… How about a vegetarian, gluten free lasagne, for those too-weary-to-cook days?

For myself, I’d like to see a decent ready-made gluten free pastry available. And if they could come up with more breakfast ideas, that would be fantastic (we’re still struggling with breakfast here) – a really good gluten free croissant or pain au chocolat would be great. And what about stocking frozen gluten free pizza and gluten free icecream cones as well? My local store doesn’t have either of those, though the competition does…

And at the moment, Tesco (and the other supermarkets) stock some items in the Free From range that are readily available, cheaper, and suitable for coeliacs in the normal section. This takes up shelfspace with slow-turnover items. The problem with the slow-turnover items is that then there appears to be no demand, so stores feel free to encroach on ‘our’ shelfspace when it is Christmas.

I’d like to see a wider range in the smaller stores too – coeliacs don’t just live near superstores.

If you’d like to help Tesco out, do go and visit the message-board – but do it today, because the message will get replaced by newer ones.

What ideas do you have? What could a major supermarket (the biggest here in the UK) provide that would make life easier for us?