Industrial unit at the heart of UK’s great chicken sandwich shortage

This is the East Yorkshire food factory at the center of a salmonella scare that has seen chicken sandwiches, salads, wraps and ready meals pulled from the shelves or snatched from shoppers’ hands in many of Britain’s biggest supermarkets and food chains.

Pret, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Leon, M&S and Waitrose have stopped selling some some or all cooked poultry products because of the outbreak at the gigantic Cranswick food processing plant in Hull.

Cranswick, which bills itself as a producer of 160 tonnes a day of gourmet cooked chicken for sandwiches and meals, says the salmonella was detected during a ‘routine internal inspection’.

The products feared to be contaminated appear to have use by dates of May 11, 12 and 13, and tonnes of food have now been seized and binned. The Food Standards Agency has advised people with products in the fridge not to eat them.

It is not yet clear if anyone has been made ill by the bug, which kicks in between six hours to six days after infection. It causes diarrhoea, fever, and stomach cramps and in severe cases can cause hospitalization. Around 50 people die each year in the UK.

A spokesman for Cranswick, which makes the majority of supermarket own brand sausages but fairly recently moved into chicken said: ‘As a precautionary measure, we have asked our customers to remove any of their products containing our ready to eat chicken produced during the affected period . We are working closely with the Foods Standards Agency and will collaborate with their experts to resolve the matter ‘, adding that its factory’ will remain closed until the investigations are complete ‘.

The mass pulling of chicken products shows how exposed the UK food chain is to a handful of huge suppliers.

MailOnline has visited several supermarkets and food stores today where shelves usually piled high with chicken salads and sandwiches were bare or closed off. One Pret store in Kensington had removed all labels for its poultry products, with staff saying they were ‘all gone’.

A nearby M&S is continuing to sell chicken and sweetcorn and chicken and avocado sandwiches, but its chicken and bacon and chicken and salad ones have been pulled, leaving an empty shelf. Yesterday it emerged that one Sainsbury’s customer tried to buy some of the chicken but had it snatched from them by a woman at the till.

The Cranswick chicken plant in Hull, which supplies chicken to many of Britain's biggest retailers, and is now at the center of a salmonella outbreak that has seen sandwiches, wraps and salads destroyed and the factory closed

The Cranswick chicken plant in Hull, which supplies chicken to many of Britain’s biggest retailers, and is now at the center of a salmonella outbreak that has seen sandwiches, wraps and salads destroyed and the factory closed

Empty shelves where chicken sandwiches and wraps belong at a Sainsbury's in Notting Hill today

Empty shelves where chicken sandwiches and wraps belong at a Sainsbury's in Notting Hill today

Empty shelves where chicken sandwiches and wraps belong at a Sainsbury’s in Notting Hill today

Empty shelves at Pret in Kensington today where chicken products have been pulled and signs removed

Empty shelves at Pret in Kensington today where chicken products have been pulled and signs removed

M&S said in a notice on their website: they were recalling 12 food products 'given a small number of products may contain Salmonella'

M&S said in a notice on their website: they were recalling 12 food products ‘given a small number of products may contain Salmonella’

Aldi has recalled Eat + Go Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap and Eat + Go Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap Triple because of the possible presence of salmonella

Aldi has recalled Eat + Go Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap and Eat + Go Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap Triple because of the possible presence of salmonella

The Cranswick statement that said that the salmonella was found in a 'routine inspection'

The Cranswick statement that said that the salmonella was found in a ‘routine inspection’

The 10 products recalled by Waitrose

Waitrose is recalling all of the below products with a use by date up to and including 14 May due to the potential presence of Salmonella, which may cause illness if consumed.

  • Waitrose Roast Chicken Salad with Salad Cream Sandwich
  • Waitrose Roast Chicken & Stuffing Sandwich
  • Waitrose Roast Chicken & Sweetcorn Sandwich
  • Waitrose Essential Chicken Mayo Sandwich
  • Waitrose Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap
  • Waitrose Sweet Chilli Chicken with Coconut & Coriander Pickle Wrap
  • Waitrose Deep Filled Roast Chicken & Stuffing Sandwich
  • Waitrose Roast Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
  • Waitrose Deep Filled Roast Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
  • Waitrose Entertaining Meat Roulade Wrap Selection

Waitrose last night became the latest supermarket giant recalling some of its chicken sandwich range due to a potential salmonella risk amid a growing High Street poultry crisis.

The move came as Pret A Manger removed all the chicken items on its menu, Aldi recalled its chicken and bacon Caesar wraps and Sainsburys took action on its cooked chicken offering.

Waitrose took the decision as a ‘precautionary measure’ and urged customers not to eat the sandwiches and wraps.

‘We’re recalling 10 of our Waitrose chicken sandwich and wrap lines – with Use By dates up to and including 14 May – due to a potential Salmonella risk,’ a spokesperson told MailOnline.

‘Customers should not consume these items and should return them to us for a full refund. We are very sorry for the inconvenience. ‘

Those being recalled include the Waitrose Roast Chicken Salad with Salad Cream Sandwich; Roast Chicken & Stuffing Sandwich; Essential Chicken Mayo Sandwich and Waitrose Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap.

The issue is thought to be due to an issue from a supplier.

Marks & Spencer is also now issuing a ‘precautionary recall’ of several chicken products due to the possibility a small number of them may contain salmonella.

A Sainsbury’s spokesperson said in a Tweet: ‘We are recalling the majority of Sainsbury’s and Taste the Difference chicken sandwiches, chicken wraps, chicken sandwich platters and some of our cooked chicken.’

Marks & Spencer product recalls

Marks & Spencer has recalled the following items:

  1. Coronation Chicken Deli Filler
  2. 14 piece classic sandwich platter
  3. Classic mini roll selection
  4. Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap
  5. Made Without Wheat Gluten Free Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
  6. Roast Chicken & Bacon Sandwich
  7. Roast Chicken & Salad Sandwich
  8. Chicken & Bacon Layered Salad
  9. Chargrilled Chicken Caesar Salad
  10. Chicken Honey Mustard Pasta Salad
  11. Café Gluten Free Chicken Salad Sandwich
  12. Café Classic Sandwich Selection

It was described as a precautionary measure, with the supermarket chain adding: ‘Our supplier has alerted us that salmonella has been detected in some batches of cooked chicken.’

M&S said in a notice on their website: they were recalling 12 food products ‘given a small number of products may contain Salmonella.’

The items include the Coronation Chicken Deli Filler; 14 piece classic sandwich platter; Classic mini roll selection; Chicken & Bacon Caesar Wrap; Made Without Wheat Gluten Free Chicken & Bacon Sandwich and the Roast Chicken & Bacon Sandwich.

Pret also took the ‘precautionary measure’ to removed the chicken items ‘due to a potential food safety risk at a supplier’.

The chain previously advertised a Sriracha Chicken Salad Wrap for its new menu but the item does not currently appear on its website.

Previous staples including the Chicken Caesar baguette are also not available, with a notice saying ‘Oops, this product is currently not in our shops’.

A Pret A Manger spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘As a precautionary measure, we’ve temporarily removed the majority of chicken items on our menu due to a potential food safety risk at one of our suppliers.

‘We hope to have these products back in shops soon. We apologise for any inconvenience. ‘

Waitrose’s and Pret’s issues have been linked to Aldi, which had to recall its chicken and bacon Caesar wraps over salmonella fears and Sainsbury’s, where customers reports being ‘blocked’ from buying chicken.

Anyone with the Aldi items in their fridge is being advised not to eat them by the Food Standards Agency. They are instead being asked to return them to the nearest store for a full refund.

The Eat + Go chicken and bacon Caesar wrap and triple wrap are both affected. The items contaminated have use by dates of May 11 and May 12.

Meanwhile, Brits took to social media to report chicken being removed from Sainsbury’s branches.

Waitrose told MailOnline it is recalling 10 of its Waitrose chicken sandwich and wrap lines - with Use By dates up to and including 14 May, but did not say which exact ones.  Pictured, the chicken and bacon Caesar wrap

The supermarket has recalled 10 of its Waitrose chicken sandwich and wrap lines, but did not say which exact ones.  Pictured, the southern fried chicken wrap

Waitrose told MailOnline it is recalling 10 of its own chicken sandwich and wrap lines – with Use By dates up to and including 14 May, but it did not specify which exact ones. Pictured, the chicken and bacon Caesar, and southern fried chicken wraps

Pret a Manger has removed all of its chicken items from its online menu - sparking fears they have also been hit with salmonella issues

Pret a Manger has removed all of its chicken items from its online menu – sparking fears they have also been hit with salmonella issues

When searching for Pret's Chicken Caesar wrap, the website says 'Oops, this product is currently not in our shops'

When searching for Pret’s Chicken Caesar wrap, the website says ‘Oops, this product is currently not in our shops’

One said: ‘Tried to buy cooked chicken at @sainsburys tonight and it’s been blocked at the till from being sold – anyone else found issues?

‘Apparently all cooked chicken is blocked from sale including chicken sandwiches.’

Another wrote: ‘I saw two staff members removing loads of chicken products from the shelves this evening, they were being’ destroyed ‘- working from a big list.

‘I managed to buy some but they checked the list first!’

MailOnline has contacted the Food Standards Agency, Aldi and Sainsbury’s for comment.

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