United Kingdom

Sainsbury's urgently recalls £4.50 Medjool dates

Sainsbury's has urgently recalled packets of £4.50 Medjool dates over fears they could be contaminated with hepatitis A. 

Several Muslim leaders have issued warnings to those who may traditionally break their fast over Ramadan by eating the 'Taste the Difference' dates. 

People generally recover from hepatitis A within a few weeks but the virus - spread in the excrement of an infected person - can cause liver failure in rare cases.

Sainsbury's has asked those who purchased the dates to 'not consume these products and return them to their nearest store for a refund.'

Sainsbury's has urgently recalled packets of £4.50 Medjool dates over fears they could be contaminated with hepatitis A

Sainsbury's has asked those who purchased the dates to 'not consume these products and return them to their nearest store for a refund'

The supermarket added it is urgently investigating the issue with their supplier, in Jordan, and remains in 'close contact' with the Food Standards Agency.   

The Muslim Association of Britain has since put out a warning on social media, saying: 'Check the label this Ramadan and remember the Palestinian people and those who are oppressed around the world in your duas (prayers).'

Zarah Sultana, a Muslim who is Labour MP for Coventry South, also issued a warning.

She said: 'Sainsbury's has recalled its Taste the Difference Medjool dates (200g and 500g) with supplier/site code K0014 EW due to a potential Hepatitis A contamination.

Hepatitis A: How is it contracted and what are the symptoms?

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that's spread in the excrement of an infected person. 

The infection is rare in the UK, with travellers and drug users at an increased risk.

Most people who contract the virus make a full recovery within a few months and others never display symptoms.       

Pictured: The recalled dates

Symptoms can include feeling tired and generally unwell, joint and muscle pain, a fever, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, pain in the upper right side of the stomach, jaundice, dark urine and pale faeces and itchy skin.

In rare cases, hepatitis A can be life threatening if it causes liver failure. 

A hepatitis vaccine is available for people at high risk of infection.

People who display symptoms of hepatitis A or who have been exposed to it recently should contact their GP for treatment.

'If you've purchased them, do not eat them. Return them to a Sainsbury's store for a refund.'

Muslims traditionally break their fast with dates during Ramadan, which began on Monday.  

The fruit, which is widely cultivated across Northern Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, is mentioned more than 20 times in the Quran.

It is also favoured by many Muslims for Tahneek, the tradition of rubbing something sweet into the mouth of a newborn.  

Sainsbury's announced on its website 'it has been brought to our attention that packs of Taste the Difference Medjool Dates 200g & 500g with a supplier/site code of K0014 EW may be contaminated with Hepatitis A.'

Packs without this specific code are not affected, they said.

A spokesperson said: 'The safety of our products is our highest priority. We are asking customers not to consume these products and return them to their nearest store for a refund.

'We are urgently investigating with our supplier and remain in close contact with the Food Standards Agency.'

'We're sorry for the inconvenience this may cause.'

Notices with more information have been displayed in stores and it is understood no other Sainsbury's products have been affected.

Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that's spread in the excrement of an infected person. 

The infection is rare in the UK, with travellers and drug users at an increased risk.

Most people who contract the virus make a full recovery within a few months and others never display symptoms.       

Symptoms can include feeling tired and generally unwell, joint and muscle pain, a fever, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, pain in the upper right side of the stomach, jaundice, dark urine and pale faeces and itchy skin.

In rare cases, hepatitis A can be life threatening if it causes liver failure. A hepatitis vaccine is available for people at high risk of infection.

People who display symptoms of hepatitis A or who have been exposed to it recently should contact their GP for treatment.

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