Coles has recalled thousands of Easter eggs after the packaging failed to declare traces of tree nuts.
With a little more than a week until Easter, the supermarket announced a recall on Thursday for their Coles-branded Easter egg products including:
•30 Easter Eggs Milk Chocolate Hollow Eggs (510-gram bag, all best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015)
•Milk Chocolate Easter Bag – Contains Milk Chocolate Bunny & Hollow Eggs (300-gram bag, all best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015)
It follows a recall on Wednesday of 204-gram 12-pack cartons of the same product that have best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015.
“These products are being recalled due to the presence of an undeclared allergen – tree nuts.
“Any consumer who has a tree nut allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed,” Coles said.
The supermarket chain said the products were labelled “Peanut Free” and while testing has confirmed there are no traces of peanuts, traces of tree nuts are not declared on the packaging.
“We have discovered traces of tree nuts (almond and hazelnut) and these were not listed in the ingredients because they are not meant to be used in the production line used for our products,” a Coles spokesman said.
The 204-gram and 510-gram Easter eggs were still appearing on the Coles online store as of Thursday afternoon, although the products could not be selected for purchase.
According to the Children's Hospital at Westmead, tree nuts include almond, brazil, cashew, chestnut, hazelnut, hickory, macadamia, mixed nuts, pecan, pine, pistachio and walnut.
Some of the more severe allergic reactions to tree nuts include anaphylactic shock, coughing, wheezing and difficulty breathing. Mild symptoms include hives, abdominal pain and vomiting.
Coles declined to disclose how many Easter egg products have been sold so far.
“The exact numbers are commercially confidential but clearly this close to Easter we sell a lot of Easter eggs. We are doing all we can to alert customers to the issue,” the spokesman said.
Coles have warned customers who have a tree nut allergy or intolerance to not consume the products and return them to the nearest Coles or BI-LO store for a full refund.