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Lidl 'knew about tainted gravy two weeks before public recall'

By Katie Forster

Lidl was alerted to the harmful effects of a paint thinner chemical found in its gravy granules more than two weeks before it issued a public recall, it can be revealed.

The supermarket has recalled two batches of Kania Gravy Granules found to contain xylene, which occurs naturally in petroleum and crude oil, said the Food Standards Agency (FSA).

Exposure to xylene poses a health risk, causing irritation of the mouth, throat, nose and lungs and in severe cases leading to heart problems, liver and kidney damage and coma.

Eugene Vatsaloo, from Tonyrefail in south Wales, said he and his family had suffered stomach cramps, headaches, dizziness and breathing difficulties shortly after eating the gravy with their dinner on November 29.

The whole family - and their three dogs, which ate the leftovers - quickly became ill, with his two children aged 15 and 20 experiencing headaches and burning and blisters in their throats.

"I had a real bad back pain as well as passing blood for two days," said the DJ. "The doctor told me the bleeding was from burning in the stomach."

"I waited five or six days before I saw the doctor, as I thought I had food poisoning and it took two days to get an appointment. Had I known, I would have gone to A&E straight away."

Mr Vatsaloo informed Lidl and environmental health authorities of a possible contamination on December 2.

The supermarket acknowledged the complaint and said the matter had been passed on to the Quality Assurance Department.

However, according to Mr Vatsaloo, more than two weeks later he had still not had any information from Lidl on what might have caused his symptoms.

Lidl said an investigation was launched as soon as it was made aware of the situation and announced the recall yesterday, having been in consultation with the FSA.

"A recall notice has been issued in all stores advising customers not to consume any Kania Gravy Granules with a best before date of October 2017 and November 2017 only," it said.

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