The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has confirmed that a batch of paprika is “most likely” the source of undeclared almond protein in three food products that have been recalled.
The products affected were Morrisons’ Fajita Meal Kit, the Aldi Fiesta brand Fajita Dinner Kit (for which allergy alerts were issued on 12 and 14 February) and a batch of Discovery Taco Seasoning.
Investigations indicated that a spice mix supplied by Santa Maria UK was the source of the undeclared almond protein, with the paprika in the spice mix as the most likely source. Investigations into the supply chain of paprika are continuing.
The product withdrawal comes after a batch of Bart’s Ground Cumin was withdrawn on 31 January due to undeclared almond, though there is no evidence the two incidents are linked.
Product testing advised
The presence of almond in the recalled products are low, but the FSA advises people with nut allergies not to eat them.
Jason Feeney, chief operating officer at the FSA, said: “The FSA is investigating these incidents and, where potential problems are identified, we are alerting the public. We are dealing with this as part of our normal incident response, and our first priority is for the safety of allergic consumers.
“There is no evidence of food fraud at this stage but the Food Crime Unit will be involved if evidence of food crime emerges.”
The almond presence was discovered as part of a sampling programme initiated by the FSA after batches of ground cumin tested positive for undeclared peanut protein in the US and Canada.
The organisation requested that the food industry ensures that paprika products are tested.