Nuts in spices scandal shows no signs of slowing down

Undeclared almond prompts recalls in EU countries

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

A recall from supermarket Iceland because paprika was contaminated with almond protein
A recall from supermarket Iceland because paprika was contaminated with almond protein

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The nuts and spices contamination scandal is continuing to affect companies across Europe.

France, Belgium, the UK and Denmark are some of the countries to issue recalls for products contaminated with almond without mentioning it on the packaging.

Belgium became involved in the ongoing issue when it recalled spices due to peanut trace findings last month​.

Undeclared almond (<50 mg/kg - ppm) was found in paella spice mix from Spain with distribution to France and Belgium, according to the RASFF portal.

Belgium withdrawal

Sveltic paella
Monique Ranou branded paella

Sveltic recalled Monique Ranou branded paella in Belgium. It was sold between March 9 and April 9 in Intermarché stores.

Dates and lots of the 390g product involved are 13/4/2015 - lot 15-061-444, 21/4/2015 - lot 15-069-511 and 28/4/2015 - lot 15-076-579.

The firm also recalled Couscous Royal under the brand Claude Leger sold between 4 March and 9 April in Intermarché.

Dates and lots of the product concerned are 20/4/2015 - lot 15-068-492 and 29/4/2015 - lot 15-077-583.

Another recall involves Makro Belgium and its Epices brochettes (spicy kebab skewers) 400g because almond is not mentioned on the label.  

Its own brand Fine Food sold from 22/1/2015 to 8/4/2015 in its stores with a best before date of 7/2017 is affected.

France affected

Antartic 2 intermarché
Antartic 2 has recalled Cigalou

In France, Antartic 2 has recalled two pepper products because of almond allergen not mentioned on the packaging.

Cigalou, which comes in a 45g glass bottle, has lot number L 138 and best before date: 5/5/16
and L 138 - best before date  1/06/16 that are affected.

The second item comes in a 500g bag with no brand and L 138 best before date: 30/4/16, L 139 - best before date: 30/4/2016, L 138 - best before date: 23/6/16 and L 139 - best before date: 24/6/16.

Both products were sold in Intermarché supermarket.

Denmark notification

Denmark also notified RASFF of a recall of paprika due to almond findings in late March.

The products, again from Spain, were distributed to Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Namibia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden.

Dansk Supermarket withdrew Karavane paprika, batch no. 5012808 (100g) EAN 5701012802501 and Budget paprika, batch no. 5012007 (100g) EAN 5710405766320.

Karavane paprika is sold in Netto and Budget paprika is sold in Føtex and Bilka.

Dagrofa recalled all expiration dates of paprika 50g labelled as ‘Spice Field’ with an EAN: 7611612120081.

The German supplier told Dagrofa there is a risk that the spice contains traces of almonds, which does not appear in the ingredient declaration.  

Reitan Distribution also recalled products - Toopas paprika, mild 100g, Lot no. 5011564 and 5012208
with best before: 15-01-2018 and 31-01-2018 due to notice from a German supplier.

Items were sold in REMA 1000 and Løvbjerg stores across the country.

UK involvement

Iceland recalled its Blackened Salmon Portions 260g because the paprika used was contaminated with almond protein last week.

This was not declared on the packaging and meant it is a health risk to anyone with an allergy to almond.

Iceland 2 Blackened Salmon Portions 'Best before' end: 29 July 2016 with Lot No. L5029, 'Best before' end: 2 August 2016 with Lot No. L5033 and ‘Best before' end: 5 September 2016 with Lot No. L5064 are affected.

Bart Ingredients, which said last month test results that found almond in its ground cumin could be wrong​, is waiting for results, as is the Food Standards Agency, from the Lab of the Government Chemist (LGC.)

Bart Ingredients said the positive reading for almond could have been caused by mahaleb.  

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