THOUSANDS of jars of pesto have been removed from supermarket shelves across the country after a shopper suffered an allergic reaction to peanuts.
The massive recall was triggered by Italian sauce brand Sacla over fears that the pesto had been contaminated - as the label doesn't warn about the presence of peanuts.
Peanuts are not a normal pesto ingredient - meaning the products could be a serious risk for people who are allergic to them.
Sacla announced the recall after the shopper suffered from an allergic reaction, and as a precaution has taken all pesto products containing cashew nuts off supermarket shelves.
The Food Standards Agency has issued an allergy alert, warning that 25 pesto products may be affected.
The list of products also includes own-brand jars from Waitrose and Aldi.
Sacla described the recall as "unprecedented" as thousands of their bottles and jars have been removed from supermarket chains across the country, including Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury's and Morrisons.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Sacla UK said: "Public health and safety is our number one priority so we have taken the decision to recall every batch of Pesto containing cashew nuts as a precaution.
"Some of the cashew nuts coming into our factory may contain random traces of peanut, and this has affected some of our pesto.
"Sacla' products that do not contain cashew nuts are not affected."
PRODUCTS THAT HAVE BEEN RECALLED
Cavolo Nero Pesto
Essential Basil Pesto
Essential Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Cucina Basil Pesto
Cucina Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
Reduced Fat Basil Pesto
Reduced Fat Tomato Pesto
Sun-dried Tomato Pesto 190g and 2x45g
Vegan Basil Pesto 190g and 950g
Black Olive Pesto
Chargrilled Aubergine Pesto
Classic Basil Pesto 90g, 190g, 290g, 950g and 2x45g
Gift Pack Pesto Trio
Waitrose also confirmed it has recalled pesto products, saying it was "very sorry for the inconvenience."
The supermarket added: "Customers with a peanut allergy are advised not to consume any of these products of any date code and to return them to their local Waitrose for a full refund."
The FSA warned: "If you have bought any of the above products and have an allergy to peanuts, do not eat them.
"Instead return them to the store from where they were bought for a full refund."
A spokesperson from Sacla UK said that its factory is "peanut-free" but that supplies of cashew nuts used in the pesto recipe had become contaminated by peanuts in the supply chain.
The said: "Nothing like this has ever happened to us before.
"We have reacted as quickly as possible as public health and safety is our number one concern.
"We are still investigating how the cross-contamination occurred, but we’ve decided to remove every single item containing the pesto sauce.
"We were alerted by a consumer and we are very grateful.
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"Any degree of allergic reaction is distressing, but fortunately, all is well."
Cashew nuts and pine nuts are used in pesto sauce, since allergic reactions to them are much less common than reactions to peanuts.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF A PEANUT ALLERGIC REACTION?
Signs and symptoms of a peanut allergy can vary widely - sometimes reactions occur within minutes, but they can also take up to an hour to show.
Milder symptoms can include:
Itchy mouth, tongue or throat
Swelling of lips, around the eyes or face
Red raised itchy rash
Vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhoea
A runny nose and sneezing
More severe symptoms can include:
Swelling of the tongue or throat
Difficulty in swallowing or speaking
A hoarse voice
Becoming wheezy or persistent cough
Sudden sleepiness in babies
Becoming pale or floppy
Collapsing or losing consciousness
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