glass fragments found in ready mealsHundreds of thousands of meals recalled

15 December 2006

 

Hundreds of thousands of ready meals are being recalled after some consumers found glass fragments.

The recalled frozen foods include 20 Asda own-brand meals, four Sainsbury's own-brands and four Birds Eye meals.

The manufacturer, Rye Valley Foods, said small pieces of glass were found in rice supplied from abroad to a factory in Ireland.

The fragments were not picked up during routine inspections and only came to light when consumers reported them, although the pieces of  glass had not caused any injuries.

Glass fragments

A spokeswoman for the government’s food watchdog, the Food Standards Agency, said: ‘We are advising consumers that if they have any of the affected batches at home that they should not eat them but return them to the store for a refund.’

An Asda spokeswoman said the total number of packets being pulled from the supermarket chain would run into thousands.

She said the glass was thought to have got into the rice at an earlier stage of the production process.

The fragments reported to the store had rounded rather than sharp edges because they had gone through the rice cleaning process.

She added: ‘Obviously we observe the highest possible standard when it comes to the content of our food and this seems to be a genuine one-off.’

Recalled products

A full list of the recalled products and their best before dates is available via the Food Standards Agency's website.

Sainsbury's said in a statement: ‘As a precautionary measure we have withdrawn four frozen ready meals from our stores due to potential contamination.

‘No other products are affected and we apologise to our customers for the inconvenience.

‘If a customer suspects they have bought one of the products they should return them to any Sainsbury's store for a full refund.’

Birds Eye said it was pulling about 400,000 packs from stores. It has already carried out random tests on 9,000 packs which all came back negative for glass traces.

Low risk

In a statement, Birds Eye apologised for any inconvenience caused to customers.

‘There is a low level risk that four of our curry products may contain small amounts of glass which are not sharp. However, in order to protect our customers, we are taking the precautionary measure of recalling the potentially affected products.’