MARKS and Spencer has urgently recalled one of its vegan sandwiches over fears it could trigger killer allergic reactions.
Some batches of the Plant Kitchen No Chicken and Chorizo Sandwich contain egg, which is not listed on the label.
"This means the product is a possible health risk for anyone with an allergy or an intolerance to egg," the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said.
Officials issued the "do not eat" warning to anyone who has purchased the meal deal favourite, with a 'use by' date of September 6.
Customers should return it to their nearest M&S store for a full refund, they added.
A spokesperson for the retail giant said: "Customer safety is of paramount importance to Marks and Spencer and we take all issues regarding the production of our foods extremely seriously.
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"We are recalling the Plant Kitchen No Chicken & Chorizo Sandwich due to the undeclared presence of egg.
"Please do not consume this product if you have an allergy or intolerance to egg.
"We apologise to our customers for the inconvenience caused."
Around two million people in the UK are thought to live with a food allergy.
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The most common, research shows, is egg white.
Reactions can range from just a sniffle or itch to a life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis, which blocks the airways.
Other symptoms include:
- Swelling of your throat and tongue
- Difficulty breathing or breathing very fast
- Difficulty swallowing, tightness in your throat or a hoarse voice
- Wheezing, coughing or noisy breathing
- Feeling tired or confused
- Feeling faint, dizzy or fainting
- Skin that feels cold to the touch
- Blue, grey or pale skin, lips or tongue (if you have brown or black skin, this may be easier to see on the palms of your hands or soles of your feet)
Deaths from serious reactions due to food have declined over the past 20 years, an analysis of UK NHS data in 2021 found.
But there are still an estimated 10 fatalities annually.
And hospital admissions for food-induced anaphylaxis have shot up since the late 90s.
Between 1998 and 2018, there was a three-fold increase per year, from 1.23 to 4.04 admissions per 100,000 population.
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The FSA issues alerts if a food product should not be sold – like if it has been contaminated or carries the incorrect 'use by' date, for example.
Items are then either removed from the shelves (withdrawn) or customers are asked to return the product for a refund (recalled).
What to do if you have anaphylaxis
- Use an adrenaline auto-injector (such as an EpiPen) if you have one (instructions are included on the side of the injector).
- Call 999 for an ambulance and say that you think you're having an anaphylactic reaction.
- Lie down – you can raise your legs, and if you're struggling to breathe, raise your shoulders or sit up slowly (if you're pregnant, lie on your left side).
- If you have been stung by an insect, try to remove the sting if it's still in the skin.
- If your symptoms have not improved after five minutes, use a second adrenaline auto-injector.
Do not stand or walk at any time, even if you feel better.
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