Food products sold by retailers including Aldi, Asda and Tesco have been recalled by the Greencore Group due to possible contamination with E.coli.

The recalled products include various sandwiches, wraps and salads and, while E.coli has not been detected in the products, they have been recalled as a precaution due to the “possible presence” of E.coli organisms.

There has been a total of 211 confirmed cases of Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC) in the UK in recent weeks, thought to be linked to a nationally distributed food item or multiple food items.

Based on information from 160 cases to date, 42% were admitted to hospital.

Some of the recalled items include:

  • Aldi chicken fajita triple wrap;
  • Asda smoky beans and cheddar cheese wrap;
  • Asda chicken salad (sandwich);
  • Asda chicken and bacon club (sandwich);
  • Boots BBQ chicken wrap;
  • Boots BLT (sandwich);
  • Morrisons chicken salad (sandwich);
  • Morrisons gluten free sandwich platter;
  • Sainsbury’s peri peri chicken wrap;
  • Sainsbury’s BBQ pulled pork and red leicester (sandwich)
  • Tesco chicken salad sandwich;
  • Tesco BBQ chicken wrap;
  • Tesco chicken bacon and lettuce sandwich.

Symptoms caused by STEC organisms include severe diarrhoea (including bloody diarrhoea), abdominal pain and sometimes haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition that can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal.

A ‘complex investigation’

Head of incidents at the FSA, Darren Whitby, said there is a “complex investigation” into the current outbreak underway.

“Sandwich manufacturers are taking a precautionary measure to recall various sandwiches, wraps, subs and rolls in response to findings from investigations by the Food Standards Agency , Food Standards Scotland (FSS) and UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) who are working to identify the cause of an ongoing outbreak caused by STEC,” he said.

“This is a complex investigation, and we have worked swiftly with the relevant businesses and the local authorities concerned to narrow down the wide range of foods consumed to a small number of salad leaf products that have been used in sandwiches, wraps, subs and rolls.

“Following thorough food chain analysis, these products are being recalled as a precaution.”

Whitby said infections caused by STEC bacteria can cause severe bloody diarrhoea and, in some cases, more serious complications. 

“We therefore advise any consumers who have any of these products not to eat them,” he said.

“The FSA is here to ensure that food is safe. If there are products on the market that are not, we won’t hesitate to take action to remove them.”


Of the 211 confirmed cases of E.coli, 147 were detected in England; 27 in Wales; 35 in Scotland and two in Northern Ireland.

For the Northern Ireland cases, evidence suggests that the people acquired their infection while visiting England.

The UKHSA said it has worked closely with the FSA, Food Standards Scotland and the devolved public health agencies to investigate the incident, carrying out epidemiological investigations and whole genome sequence analysis to help identify foods commonly consumed by the cases.

UKHSA incident director, Trish Mannes, said: “We would like to thank all the cases who have provided information that has enabled us, through epidemiological analysis of questionnaire data and food tracing investigations, to narrow down the likely food product linked to this outbreak.

“Symptoms of infections with STEC include severe and sometimes bloody diarrhoea, stomach cramps, vomiting and fever.

“If you are unwell, have eaten salad leaves recently and are concerned about any symptoms, follow guidance on when to seek help and the steps you can take to avoid further spread to family and friends.”

While diarrhoea and vomiting can have a range of causes, there are simple steps that can be taken to reduce risk and risk of infecting others, Mannes said.

“Washing your hands with soap and warm water and using disinfectants to clean surfaces will help stop any further spread of infection.

“If you are unwell with diarrhoea and vomiting, you should not prepare food for others while unwell and avoid visiting people in hospitals or care homes to avoid passing on the infection in these settings.

“Do not return to work, school or nursery until 48 hours after your symptoms have stopped.”