Easter Egg Hunting 2014: Supermarket Coles Recalls Eggs Over Fears It May Cause Allergic Reactions

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | April 11, 2014 9:58 AM EST

Australian supermarket chain Coles has recalled its Easter eggs after a boy from Central Coast suffered an allergic reaction from eating one of the eggs. The packaging failed to declare it contains traces of "tree nuts."

REUTERS
Easter eggs adorn an apple tree in the garden of the summerhouse of German pensioners Christa and Volker Kraft, in the eastern German town of Saalfeld, March 19, 2014. Each year since 1965 Volker and his wife Christa spend up to two weeks decorating the tree with their collection of 10,000 colourful hand-painted Easter eggs in time for Easter celebrations.

The urgent nation-wide recall involves Coles-branded Easter egg products including:

  • 30 Milk Chocolate Hollow Easter Eggs (510-g bag, all best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015)
  • Milk Chocolate Easter Bag—Contains Milk Chocolate Bunny & Hollow Eggs (300-g bag, all best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015).

Thursday's recall follows the one made in Wednesday which involved the Hollow Milk Chocolate Easter Eggs, sold in a 204 g, 12 pack "egg" carton. It has best-before dates up to and including January 31, 2015.

The recall was triggered by a medical emergency after 5-year-old Mason Goodwin suffered a severe nut-related allergic reaction after consuming one of the chocolate eggs. The incident happened at a party on Sunday. He ate one of the Coles brand Hollow Milk Chocolate Easter Eggs (204 g 12 pack carton).

While the packaging said it was peanut-free, the products contained traces of tree nuts, such as walnuts, almonds or macadamias, Mason's father said.

"Not having any other allergy advice pertaining to tree nuts was quite misleading, I thought," dad Anthony said. "People allergic to peanuts are not always affected by tree nuts, but some, like Mason, are allergic to both," he added.

Channel Seven reported young Mason experienced a tingling throat, hives and wheezing.

Tree nuts, according Coles, could include almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, chestnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.

The product was being "recalled due to the presence of an undeclared allergen—tree nuts," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

"Any consumer who has a tree nut allergy or intolerance may have a reaction if the product is consumed," the recall statement added.

"The product is labelled as 'Peanut Free' and testing has confirmed NO traces of peanuts so it is safe for customers who do not have a tree nut allergy to consume."

"However given the traces of tree nuts not declared on the packaging, Coles believes the responsible action to take is to recall the product from customers."

The supermarket chain advised customers with tree nut allergy or intolerance to return the product to their nearest Coles or Bi-Lo store for a full refund.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Fabrizio Bensch)
Easter eggs adorn an apple tree in the garden of the summerhouse of German pensioners Christa and Volker Kraft, in the eastern German town of Saalfeld, March 19, 2014. Each year since 1965 Volker and his wife Christa spend up to two weeks decorating the tree with their collection of 10,000 colourful hand-painted Easter eggs in time for Easter celebrations.
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