Recently a recall was issued for ham products sold in the U.K., According to the British government's Food Standards Agency (FSA). The products in question are the Glensallagh Glazed and Grilled American Style Cajun Shaved Ham both contain undeclared wheat. The contaminants pose a serious risk to people with a gluten allergy or intolerance.
Glensallagh Glazed and Grilled American Style Cajun Shaved Ham was sold at Lidl Northern Ireland grocery stores in the United Kingdom. They were in 130-gram packages, and had the batch codes 5234L3, 5293HS or 5348A6 printed on the label. The recalled products had the use-by dates of either June 3, June 15, June 17 or June 22, 2022. The retailer has already issued a notice to customers in its stores to help spread the word. Lidl NI even reached out to allergy support organizations so that they could warn their members.
Customers who bought this product can return it to Lidl NI for a full refund. Otherwise, they can simply dispose of it. According to the FSA's website, it treats "Allergy Alerts" differently from other recalls or withdrawals in the U.K. It says: "Sometimes foods have to be withdrawn or recalled if there is a risk to consumers because the allergy labeling is missing or incorrect or if there is any other food allergy risk. When there is a food allergy risk, the FSA will issue an Allergy Alert."
Like many other forms of food intolerance, wheat allergies and gluten allergies can range widely in their severity and sensitivity. In this case, someone would need to have a relatively severe case of wheat allergy or celiac disease to be impacted by Glensallagh ham. Someone with a wheat allergy would likely develop symptoms within minutes or hours of eating wheat.
According to Mayo Clinic, those symptoms could include swelling, itching or irritation in the throat, mouth or on the skin, including hives or rashes. They may also experience nasal congestion, headache, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea or vomiting. In severe cases, an allergic person might go into anaphylaxis.
Celiac disease, meanwhile, causes an immune system reaction to gluten – a specific protein present in wheat. It can also cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, bloating, gas, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and constipation. It can also cause symptoms like anemia, loss of bone density, skin rashes, mouth ulcers, headaches, fatigue and joint pain. In the long term, it can lead to nervous system injuries which will manifest as numbness or tingling in the feet or hands, cognitive impairment and problems with balance.
If you are experiencing these symptoms it is best to contact a medical professional to get a formal diagnosis. Follow the CDC here for more information on food recalls.