Duchy Organic 'vegetarian' soup contains meat and gluten

Waitrose issues recall

Duchy Organic Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup

Waitrose has recalled pots of Duchy Organic Spiced Carrot and Parsnip Soup - because it contains not only chicken but also potential allergy-causing ingredients.

The brand was set up as a partnership between Prince Charles and Waitrose, and there are now over 300 organic products in the range. They are based, says Waitrose, on a philosophy of 'good food, good farming and good causes'.

Unfortunately, though, they don't always seem to be based on good factory management, as the carrot and parsnip pots were filled with the wrong soup.

"As a precaution, this product is being recalled, as a small number of pots have been incorrectly filled with Waitrose Duchy Organic Chicken and Spelt Broth," says Waitrose.

"The Chicken and Spelt Broth recipe contains gluten and celery which are not declared on the label, making the product unsuitable for anyone with an allergy to gluten or celery."

The packs affected have a use by date of July 1 2016, and weigh 600g. Customers - particularly those who are vegetarian or have an allergy to gluten or celery - are being encouraged to return their soup to the store for a full refund.

The Food Standards Agency has put out a similar warning.

Any vegetarians eating the soup are likely to realise the mistake immediately. However, there's real danger for those suffering from allergies.

Those allergic to celery can experience symptoms ranging from hives and difficulty breathing to severe asthma and even anaphylaxis - a life-threatening allergic reaction affecting several parts of the body.

Meanwhile, even the tiniest amount of gluten can have severe effects on people with coeliac disease. An immune disorder rather than a food intolerance or allergy, it causes the body to attack the lining of the stomach when gluten is consumed.

Symptoms can include severe pain and vomiting, as well as long-term problems such as osteoporosis, anaemia and bowel cancer.

Under EU legislation, all potential allergy-causing ingredients must be listed on product packaging and highlighted in bold; restaurants are required to provide the same information.

And the penalties can be severe: recently, a restaurant owner was jailed for six years for manslaughter after carelessly giving an allergic customer a dish containing peanuts. The customer died.

Celiac Awareness Month focuses on healthy eating through a gluten-free diet

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