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Waitrose urgently recalls popular Italian side dish over health fears

Waitrose urgently recalls popular Italian side dish over health fears

  • Tomato & Mozzarella Arancini with March 23 ‘use by’ date has been recalled
  • Food Standards Agency told Brits with a gluten intolerance or allergy not to eat it
  • READ MORE:  Tesco urgently recalls popular product over allergy fears

Waitrose has recalled one of its own-brand Italian side dishes over fears that it may contain gluten without saying so.

A batch of the chain’s Tomato & Mozzarella Arancini could pose a risk to anyone with coeliac disease or who is allergic or intolerant to wheat or gluten, according to food safety officials said.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) told Brits who could be affected by eating gluten not to eat the tomato and cheese-based riced balls with a March 23 ‘use by’ date.

Customers can return the 30g, £4.10 container tub to the Waitrose store they bought it from for a full refund.

The FSA issues food recalls — when customers are asked to return a product — when problems are spotted with food that means it should not be sold. 

Waitrose & Partners has recalled one of its own-brand arancini over fear it may contain gluten despite it being labelled ‘gluten free’ on the front of the packaging

The supermarket’s Tomato & Mozzarella Arancini with a March 23 ‘use by’ date might pose a risk to those with coeliac disease or who are allergic or intolerant to wheat or gluten

The product recall notice said: ‘Waitrose is recalling the above product due to the possible presence of gluten (wheat) which if consumed by someone with an allergy/intolerance may lead to illness.’

Arancini are Italian rice balls that are stuffed, coated with breadcrumbs and deep fried. They are typically eaten as a starter, side or a snack.

Coeliac disease, which affects about one in 100 Britons, causes damage to the gut when the body overreacts to gluten – a protein in bread.

It can trigger diarrhoea, abdominal pain and bloating. 

Known as an autoimmune condition, it happens when the body’s immune system mistakes substances found in gluten as a threat and attacks them, damaging gut tissue. 

Routine testing for coeliac disease is not done in England – testing is usually only for people who have an increased risk of developing coeliac disease, such as those with a family history of the condition.

There is no cure but following a gluten-free diet can help control symptoms and prevent the long-term complications of the condition.

MailOnline contacted Waitrose for comment.  

What is coeliac disease and how can people avoid gluten? 

Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where a person has an adverse reaction to gluten.

Gluten is found primarily in wheat, but also in rye, barley, and to a lesser extent, oats.

It makes up the protein part of these grains, nourishing the plant embryos during germination.

It affects the elasticity of dough, so is used to make baked wheat products more or less chewy.

It is an autoimmune condition, where the immune system – the body’s defence against infection – mistakenly attacks healthy tissue.

For sufferers, eating food containing gluten can trigger a range of painful symptoms including:

  • diarrhoea
  • bloating and flatulence
  • abdominal pain
  • weight loss
  • feeling tired all the time, resulting from malnutrition
  • children not growing at expected rates

Coeliac disease is not an allergy, nor an intolerance.

The immune system mistakes substances found inside gluten as a threat to the body, and attacks them.

This damages the surface of the small bowel, disrupting the body’s ability to absorb nutrients in food.

Scientists still do not know exactly what it is that causes the body to act in this way, but a person’s genetic make up and the environment appear to play a part.

There is no cure for coeliac disease, but following a gluten-free diet can help control symptoms and prevent the long-term consequences of the disease.

Even for sufferers whose symptoms are mild, or non-existant, a gluten-free diet is advised, because continuing to eat gluten can cause serious long-term problems.

Complications include osteoporosis, and iron deficiency anaemia.

Less common and even more serious complications include some cancers, include bowel cancer.

Gluten is found in beer, breads, pasta, cakes and pies. It is also found in cereals, chips, croutons, cookies and processed meats. It can be found in salad dressings, sauces such as soy sauce and soup or soup bases.

Source: NHS Choices

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