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Sainsbury’s has issued an urgent recall of its Medjool dates over the possibility they may have been contaminated with Hepatitis A.
The contaminated dried fruits, sold under Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference range in 200g and 500g packs, have the code K0014 EW on the label.
The supermarket chain announced on its website: “It has been brought to our attention that packs of Taste the Difference Medjool Dates 200g & 500g with a supplier/site code of K0014 EW may be contaminated with Hepatitis A.”
Customers who purchased Medjool dates with this specific code are asked not to eat them and to return them to their nearest Sainsbury’s store for a full refund.
Packs without this specific code are not affected, and no other products have been affected, said the supermarket chain.
Medjool dates, which are high in fibre and vitamins, are popular among Muslims observing the holy month of Ramadan. The dates are often eaten to break their fast.
The Muslim Association of Britain (MAB) broadcast the warning on its social media accounts, adding: “Check the label this Ramada and remember the Palestinian people and those who are oppressed around the world in your duas (prayers).”
Muslim MP Zarah Sultana also issued the warning on her Twitter account and said: “Sainsbury’s has recalled its Taste the Difference Medjool dates (200g and 500g) with supplier/site code K0014 EW due to a potential Hepatitis A contamination.
“If you’ve purchased them, do not eat them. Return them to a Sainsbury’s store for a refund.”
Hepatitis A is a liver infection caused by a virus that is spread in the faeces of an infected person, according to the NHS.
The health service said Hepatitis A “can be unpleasant” but is not usually serious. Most people who contract it make a full recovery within a couple of months and some may not even display any symptoms.
Symptoms can include feeling tired and generally unwell, joint and muscle pain, a fever, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, pain in the upper right side of the stomach, jaundice, dark urine and pale faeces and itchy skin.
In rare cases, Hepatitis A can be life threatening if it causes liver failure. Only people who display symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their GP for treatment.
A spokesperson for the Food Standards Agency said in a statement: “Public Health England and the Food Standards Agency are investigating a small number of non-travel related cases of Hepatitis A.
“These investigations are ongoing to establish if additional preventive measures are needed. Good hygiene, especially hand washing, is important to help prevent the spread of Hepatitis A.
“As a result of these investigations, Sainsbury’s has voluntarily recalled Taste The Difference Medjool dates and withdrawn stock from shelves.
“Customers who have bought these products are advised not to eat them and should return to the store for a full refund. This is a precautionary measure taken by the business.”