Greencore recalls sandwiches and wraps in UK amid E.coli outbreak

Bacteria was not found in products but Dublin-listed company takes ‘precautionary measure’

Greencore says it is 'voluntarily' recalling the products due to a potential food safety risk, understood to relate to the presence of salad leaves. Photograph: iStock

Greencore, the Dublin-based convenience foods group, has recalled a number of its pre-packed sandwiches, wraps and salads from supermarkets in the UK as a “precautionary measure” because of possible contamination with E.coli.

In a notice published on its website, the UK’s Food Safety Agency (FSA) said E.coli had not been detected in the products.

However, Greencore said in a statement it was “voluntarily” recalling the products due to a potential food safety risk, understood to relate to the presence of salad leaves in the products. It is one of several food-to-go companies to recall products in recent days amid an outbreak of E.coli in the UK that has hospitalised more than 60 people.

One third of home cooks do not wash hands before touching smart devices after handling raw meatOpens in new window ]

The list of 45 Greencore products to be recalled includes sandwiches and wraps sold in Aldi, Asda, Boots and Sainsbury’s and other supermarkets. It includes an Aldi chicken fajita triple wrap, Boots chicken salad sandwich and a Sainsbury’s peri peri chicken wrap.


The FSA said the products had been recalled due to the “possible presence of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli”, symptoms of which “include severe diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea), abdominal pain, and sometimes haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious condition that can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal”.

UK food-to-go specialist Samworth Brothers Manton Wood also took the step on Friday of issuing a recall of some of its pre-packed products, including a Tesco chicken salad sub, Tesco chicken club sandwich and a OneStop Hoisin duck wrap.

The BBC reported on Friday that some 211 people in the UK are known to currently be affected by E.coli, up from 113 last week and at least 67 people have been admitted to hospital, according to the UK Health Security Agency.

Greencore still mired in ‘lost decade’ even as first-half results drive stock up 20%Opens in new window ]

“As a precautionary measure, we have voluntarily recalled a number of sandwiches and wraps due to a potential food safety risk,” a spokesman for Greencore said. “Greencore adheres to the highest standards of food safety, and we are working closely with the Food Standards Agency and our suppliers to better understand the possible source of any potential issue.”

Shares in Greencore, down 2 per cent on Friday, have climbed more than 17 per cent in the past month after the group in May announced half-year results slightly ahead of forecasts and announced a £50 million (€58.5 million) return for shareholders, via buy-backs and dividends.

Ian Curran

Ian Curran

Ian Curran is a Business reporter with The Irish Times