USA

Supermarkets remove thousands of jars of pesto from the shelves after BA Natasha Ednan-Laperouse died after suffering allergic reaction to peanuts

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse Short Biography

The incident rekindled memories of 15-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who died on a BA plane after suffering a fatal reaction to sesame seeds in a Pret a Manger baguette in 2016. Natasha knew she was allergic to the seeds but they were not included on the ingredients list on the wrapper.

Natasha Ednan-Laperouse Died

Last night, her father Nadim, who set up the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation in his late daughter’s name, said he was very concerned by the contamination.

‘It is deeply worrying that this can happen in spite of supposedly stringent precautions in the factory,’ he said.

‘This case highlights the crucial importance of food companies ensuring they have the best practices to prevent cross-contamination of allergens. It can be the difference between life and death.’

As the pesto sauces were removed from shelves, alerts were issued by the supermarkets to customers whose purchase records show they had bought Sacla pesto products, advising them to return the jars for a refund.

A spokeswoman for Sacla UK, which is based in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire, 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. ‘Nothing like this has ever happened to us before,’ she said. ‘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. Any degree of allergic reaction is distressing, but fortunately all is well.’

Cashew nuts and pine nuts are used in pesto as allergic reactions to them are much less common than reactions to peanuts.

Among the products named in yesterday’s recall notice by the Food Standards Agency were all Sacla branded pestos, Aldi Cucina Basil Pesto and Cucina Sun-dried Tomato Pesto and Waitrose Basil Pesto and Cavolo Nero Pesto.

The Food Standards Agency said: ‘Sacla is recalling various pesto products because they may contain peanuts, which are not mentioned on the label. This means the products are a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to peanuts.’

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