Tesco and Sainsbury’s have become embroiled in a serious food contamination scandal after some of their vegan and vegetarian food has been found to include meat.
The Food Standards Agency has launched a full investigation after tests found pork DNA was found within Sainsbury’s ‘meat-free’ meatballs.
Furthermore, traces of turkey were found in Wicked Kitchen’s vegan macaroni, which is sold exclusively at Tesco stores.
The Wicked Kitchen line has found huge commercial success, being one of the first 100% vegan brands in the UK that sell both ready meals and food for on the go.
The range has been on sale in Tesco stores since January, and has even been credited for a rise in Tesco’s profits.
Not only are vegans and animal rights organisations such as PETA upset with the discovery of animal DNA within vegan products, it has also proved to be an issue for many religious groups.
The Muslim Council of Britain has called for an urgent recall of any contaminated products, and Kosher London has also spoken out against possible contamination.
In regards to the pork found within Sainsbury’s veggie meatballs, a spokesperson stated: “These products are produced at a meat-free factory.”
“Sainsbury’s and the Vegetarian Society also carry out regular checks and no issues have been found.”
“We are concerned by these findings however and are carrying out a comprehensive investigation alongside our supplier.”
Tesco has also said: “We take the quality and integrity of our products extremely seriously and understand that our vegan and vegetarian products should be exactly that.”
“Our initial DNA tests have found no traces of animal DNA in the BBQ Butternut Mac product available in stores today.”
A Food Standards Agency spokesperson announced that action will not be taken until investigations have been completed.
If Tesco and Sainsbury’s are found to have breached food labeling guidelines, they face unlimited fines and prison sentences of up to two years.