Allergen Recall: Fisherman Salted Radish
Fisherman Salted Radish
Hoo Hing Limited is recalling their Fisherman Salted Radish because they contain undeclared sodium hydrogen sulphite. Sodium hydrogen sulphite, also called sodium bisulphite, is one of the 14 allergen 'groups' that need to be clearly highlighted on the label because people can have an intolerance or allergy to sulphites.
Sodium sulphite is one of 7 sulphur based chemicals that are treated the same for food safety reasons.
The Food Standards Agency clearly states that Sulphur dioxide/sulphites, where added at a level above 10mg/kg or 10mg/L in the finished product, need to be emphasised using a typeset that clearly distinguishes it from the rest of the ingredients, for example by means of the font, style or background colour. If you look at different food labels, you will find that most companies have decided to do this by marking all allergens in bold.
Sulphites can be found in many foods and drinks. They are used as an additive to maintain food colour (eg, dried fruits such as apricots and figs, dried potato based products), add to the shelf-life (eg, meats & sausages, deli meats) and to prevent the growth of yeast, fungi and bacteria (eg, wines, fruit juices).
Clearly, too much of it is not good for you. The Food and Drug Administration in the USA banned the use of sodium sulphites on fresh foods and vegetables following the deaths of 13 people and after many severe increases in asthma symptoms.
Sulphite Allergy and Anaphylaxis
As you can see from the PDF by Anaphylaxis Campaign on the right, one can have both an allergy to or an insensitivity to sulphites.
A true allergy to sulphites is rare, but it does occur. A severe reaction can lead to anaphylaxis which can lead to death, so is always a medical emergency. Serious symptoms are swelling of the face, throat and mouth; difficulty breathing due to the above swelling and constriction of the bronchi in the lungs; abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting; and sometimes red blotchy skin. The person's blood pressure drops, which will lead to unconsciousness and possible death.
They need to be given their adrenaline auto-injector(s) immediately to prevent this outcome.
Would you like to know more about anaphylaxis and how to recognise symptoms and treat the patient? We run our fully accredited Basic Life Support and Management of Anaphylaxis course on a regular basis.
More people will have a sensitivity to sulphites, especially those who already have asthma. Common symptoms are wheezing, tight chest and a cough;nettle rash (otherwise known as hives or urticaria) and gastro-intestinal symptoms like nausea and vomiting. They can also aggravate eczema.
Exact Product Recalled
Now we know why it is important to have the allergen sulphites clearly emphasised on the label, we can get back to the Fisherman's Salted Radish. The below product is being recalled because the sulphites are not clearly mentioned on the label (only as an non-emphasised E222, without the clear name beside it in bold).
If you want to read the original recall notice by the Food Standards Agency, click here.
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