Dunnes Stores recalls popular snack due to health risks – ‘do not consume’

Food recalls aren't that 'common' says expert

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Food recalls are issued when there has been a discovery of a safety issue or defect with a product, which may result in unintentional harm to the consumer.

Dunnes Stores has recalled its Green Pitted Olives because of the presence of undeclared sulphur dioxide.

The sulphur dioxide was not mentioned on the label and therefore poses a risk to those with a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide or sulphites.

This notice is Northern Ireland specific, as the product was only sold in stores there.

Northern Ireland is home to 15 Dunnes Stores.

The product affected is the 275g pack size with a use by date of January 14, 2022.

The Food Standards Agency issued a risk statement, saying: “This product may contain sulphur dioxide, making it a possible health risk for anyone with a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites.”

According to the Centre for Food Safety, sulphur dioxide is “a preservative commonly used in a variety of foods and beverages including dried fruits, pickled vegetables, sausages, fruit and vegetable juices, cider, vinegar and wine.”

It added: “Sulphur residues in food are considered to have low toxicity. However, it may induce allergic reactions such as asthmatic attacks, headache and nausea in susceptible individuals.”

“Individuals sensitive to sulphur dioxide should read food labels carefully every time when shopping for food and look for the names of sulphur dioxide, sulphites and sulphite derivatives or their International Numbering System numbers (220, 221, 222, 223, 224, 225, 226, 227 and 228) on the ingredient list, and avoid all food products containing these compounds.”

The Food Standards Agency stated: “Dunnes Stores is recalling the above product from customers and has been advised to contact the relevant allergy support organisations, which will tell their members about the recall.

“The company has also issued a point-of-sale notice to its customers. These notices explain to customers why the product is being recalled and tell them what to do if they have bought the product.”

They then offered advice to customers: “If you have bought the above product and have a sensitivity to sulphur dioxide and/or sulphites, do not eat it. Instead return it to the store from where it was bought for a full refund.”

They added: “Sometimes there will be a problem with a food product that means it should not be sold. Then it might be ‘withdrawn’ (taken off the shelves) or ‘recalled’ (when customers are asked to return the product).

“Sometimes foods have to be withdrawn or recalled if there is a risk to consumers because the allergy labelling is missing or incorrect or if there is any other food allergy risk. When there is a food allergy risk, the FSA will issue an Allergy Alert.” 

Dunnes Stores gave its product recall notice on December 22 2021.

They stated: “Our supplier Belies BV has informed Dunnes Stores that only the batch with a Use by Date of: 14.01.2022 is affected.

“Consumers who are allergic or intolerant to Sulphur Dioxide or Sulphites, do not consume the affected product, instead return it to your nearest Dunnes Stores where a full refund will be given. No receipt is required.”

They continued: “We apologise that it has been necessary to recall this product and for the inconvenience caused.” 

They provided the following phone numbers for customers should they need to get in contact: United Kingdom : +44 121 7379 166, International : +353 818 300066, Republic of Ireland : 1890 25 3185, 01 902 0309.

Their Product recall Notice concluded: “Dunnes Stores are committed in ensuring that the products we supply are of the finest quality at all times. The Food Safety Authorities have been informed.

“Please refer to the Food Safety Agency website for any further updates – www.food.gov.uk.”

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