Sainsbury’s has recalled its Taste the Difference Medjool dates over fears that the product is contaminated with Hepatitis A.
The recall has urged customers to return them for a full refund, adding that anyone with signs of the disease should consult their GP.
Hepatitis A symptoms include fever, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, dark urine and jaundice.
The grocer would not be drawn on how the dates were contaminated.
“All our suppliers have to meet our high safety standards and they are regularly required to demonstrate this,” Sainsbury’s said in a statement.
“We’re urgently investigating with our supplier.”
According to the NHS, Hepatitis A can spread to food if prepared by an infected person without washing their hands, or by washing them in sewage-contaminated water.
“My mother has been […] feeling ill with Hep A symptoms lately,” one social media user tweeted.
“I’ve just had to insist she contact her GP immediately.”
He added that his mother was “confused”, which is another symptom of chronic hepatitis.
You haven't contacted us. I only read about this via @CheshireLiveCrw today. My mother has been affected. We've bought 10 of these between August last year and a fortnight ago. The 2 of both sizes she currently has are affected. She's been feeling ill with Hep A symptoms lately.
— Jim⚫️🇪🇺🏴🏳️🌈 (@JimGilroy) April 14, 2021
The news coincides with the start of Ramadan, the festival where Muslims will break their daily fasts with dates.
The Rochdale Council of Mosques and Muslim MP Zarah Sultana, who last year called dates “an absolute must-have” during Ramadan, were among those who tweeted about the contaminated product.
Others questioned why Sainsbury’s had not issued a social media alert itself.
The grocer said it would look into compensating infected customers “on a case by case basis.”
It said it did not receive any customer complaints about the dates and was alerted to the infection risk by the Foods Standards Agency.