Dr David Jukes, The University of Reading, UK

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Food Law News - UK - 2015

FSA News Item, 31 January 2015

ALLERGENS - Bart Ground Cumin recalled

The FSA has issued an alert to people with nut allergies about a batch of ground cumin sold by The Barts Ingredients Company Ltd which has been found to contain traces of almond protein not listed on the label. This makes the product a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy to almond.

The product being recalled is: Bart Ground Cumin; Pack size: 35g; Batch Codes: 4291 Best Before Oct 17 / Batch Codes: 4347 Best Before Dec 17 / Batch Codes: 4348 Best Before Dec 17

People with a nut allergy who have bought this product should not consume it, but should return it to where it was purchased.

No cases of allergic reactions linked to the affected product have been reported to the FSA.

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 undeclared peanut and almond protein. Of the results received so far, undeclared almond protein has been identified only in this one Barts product. None of the tests have detected peanut proteins at levels that would require allergen labelling.

Jason Feeney, Chief Operating Officer at the FSA, said: 'The FSA has been pro-active in checking for problems with cumin products in the UK and, as a precaution, is taking action to protect consumers. Currently there is no evidence to suggest that the undeclared almond protein found in this product is linked to the problems with Cumin found in the US and Canada. Investigations are on-going.'

The FSA is working closely with the US authorities, port heath authorities in the UK and producers and importers of spices.

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