MARKS and Spencer have urgently recalled one of their vegan sandwiches over concerns it could trigger fatal allergic reactions.
Some batches of the Plant Kitchen No Chicken and Chorizo Sandwich contain egg not listed on the label.
“This means the product poses a potential health risk to anyone with an allergy or intolerance to eggs,” the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.
Officials issued a “do not eat” warning to anyone who bought the favorite meal, with a sell-by date of September 6.
Customers should return it to the nearest M&S store for a full refund, they added.
A spokesman for the retail giant said: “Customer safety is of the utmost importance to Marks and Spencer and we take any issues related to the production of our food extremely seriously.”
“We are recalling the Plant Kitchen No Chicken & Chorizo Sandwich due to the undeclared presence of eggs.
“Please do not consume this product if you have an egg allergy or intolerance.
“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience caused.”
It is estimated that around two million people in the UK are living with a food allergy.
Research shows that egg white is the most common.
Reactions can range from a simple sneeze or itch to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which blocks the airways.
Other symptoms are:
- swelling of the throat and tongue
- Difficulty breathing or breathing very fast
- Difficulty swallowing, tightness in the throat, or hoarse voice
- wheezing, coughing, or noisy breathing
- Feel tired or confused
- Feeling faint, dizzy or fainting
- skin that feels cold
- Blue, gray, or pale skin, lips, or tongue (if you have tan or black skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
The number of deaths from serious food reactions has fallen over the past 20 years, according to an analysis of UK NHS data from 2021.
But there are still an estimated 10 fatalities a year.
And the number of hospitalizations for foodborne anaphylaxis has skyrocketed since the late 1990s.
Between 1998 and 2018 there was a threefold increase per year, from 1.23 to 4.04 admissions per 100,000 inhabitants.
The FSA issues alerts when a food product cannot be sold, for example if it is contaminated or has an incorrect use-by date.
The items are then either taken off the shelves (withdrawn) or customers are asked to return the product for a refund (recalled).
What to do in case of anaphylaxis?
- Use an epinephrine auto-injector (such as an EpiPen) if you have one (see injector page for instructions).
- Call 999 for an ambulance and say you think you are having an anaphylactic reaction.
- Lie down – you can elevate your legs, and if you have trouble breathing, shrug your shoulders or slowly sit up (if pregnant, lie on your left side).
- If you have been bitten by an insect, try to remove the bite if it is still in the skin.
- If your symptoms have not improved after five minutes, use a second epinephrine auto-injector.
Do not stand or walk at any time, even if you feel better.