There have been a number of recent recalls in Australia of pesto and associated products:
These products were recalled because they contain an undeclared allergen (peanut). The peanuts were in one of the ingredients (cashews) used in these products.
This issue is not isolated to Australia. The Australian recalls followed a recall in Europe and the UK of pesto products that were manufactured in Italy using internationally sourced ingredients. Australian state and territory authorities, retailers and distributors proactively tested products sold in Australia. The testing indicates that peanut contamination of cashews may have impacted some products available for sale in Australia.
**Update 13/2/2020 *** - The above recalls now include products manufacturered in Australia from imported ingredients.
To date there are no known reports of allergic reactions associated with the recalled pesto products in Australia.
Federal Government agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the Department of Health are working together with state health departments, industry, Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and international agencies to monitor developments.
Investigations are ongoing to confirm that this issue has been contained. At this time, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) advises consumers with a peanut allergy to be cautious when purchasing products containing cashew.
Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia advises that consumers with allergies should always read ingredient information on labels and avoid products with a precautionary allergen statement such as 'may contain' or 'may be present' in relation to peanuts in food products containing cashews.
Please refer to Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia for more detailed advice for specific allergen requirements.
If you are allergic to peanuts and you have an allergic reaction to a product containing cashew, this should be reported to the relevant health department in your state or territory. You can find your local contact on our website.