Last week The FSA issued an alert to people with nut allergies about a batch of ground cumin sold by The Barts Ingredients Company Ltd which was found to contain traces of almond protein not listed on the label.
The undeclared almond protein was identified as part of a sampling programme initiated by the FSA after certain batches of ground cumin and products containing ground cumin tested positive for undeclared peanut protein in the US and Canada. None of the products recalled in the US and Canada was distributed to the UK, however, as a precaution the FSA began testing cumin sold in this country.
The sampling programme involved testing batches of ground cumin and cumin seeds bought from supermarkets, grocery shops, and wholesalers across the UK and also from consignments inspected at ports. All of the samples have been tested for peanut and almond protein. Undeclared almond was found in one Barts product. None of the tests have detected peanut proteins at levels that would require precautionary allergen labelling.
Last Thursday notification was issued that Morrisons was recalling its Fajita Meal Kit because almond protein was found to be present in the seasoning mix, which was not declared on the label and on Saturday Aldi recalled its Fiesta brand Fajita Dinner Kit after their supplier identified that the seasoning mix contained almond protein. Yesterday Santa Maria UK limited recalled its Discovery brand Taco Seasoning as it contained almond protein in the paprika used in the seasoning mix. The presence of almond was not declared on the label.
The FSA states that investigations indicated that a spice mix supplied by Santa Maria UK Ltd used in the three products contained undeclared almond protein. Subsequent industry testing revealed that the paprika in the spice mix was the most likely source. Further investigations into the supply chain of paprika are continuing.
The FSA has said that people with a nut allergy who have bought these products should not consume them, but should return them to where they were purchased. The levels of almond protein found in these products are low and no cases of allergic reactions linked to the affected products have been reported to the FSA
If you have a nut allergy, check packets to see if you any have the affected products. If so, don’t consume it and return it to the retailer for a refund.
We will update you as this investigation continues