Supermarket giant Aldi has just had to recall a batch of Clancy’s Barbecue Flavour Coated Peanuts for a strange reason: the ingredient list did not warn consumers that it contained nuts.
“If you have bought this product and have an allergy or intolerance to cashew nuts, please do not eat it,” the recall information reads. “Customers are asked to return this product to the nearest store, where a full refund will be given.”
While anyone buying the pack can see that peanuts are going to be present, there was no mention of cashew nuts. Despite their name, peanuts are actually from the legume family; cashews, on the other hand, are from the tree nut family, just like almonds and walnuts. Some people are allergic to both, or will choose to avoid all nuts just in case—but for those who have determined they can safely consume peanuts, this could come as a nasty shock.
In a win for Aldi, the mislabelled batch was only available in three regional areas in the UK (Neston, Darlington and Goldthorpe) so any adverse reactions should be quite minimal.
The error was, of course, unintentional but people are still surprised at the wording of Aldi’s recall response. Anyone who is allergic or intolerant to food is usually hyper-aware of what they can and can’t eat, and would prefer not to take a chance on an unfamiliar item if there’s any doubt about the effects it could have. As a result, the warning for customers not to consume the packet’s contents after finding out about the cross-contamination led to a lot of teasing and references to a nanny state and coddling those who aren’t willing to manage their own allergies.
It’s not the first time Aldi has had to recall a product; Australian stores were in hot water earlier this year when News Corp reported that the $79.99 Easy Home spiral spring mixer tap was contaminating water with high levels of lead. After the allegations were made public, Aldi subjected the tap to additional testing to assure customers that it passed all of Australia’s strict regulations. It received the all-clear in July.