Unsafe levels of a paint thinner chemical have been found in gravy granules sold at Lidl, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed.
The contamination affected two batches of Kania Gravy Granules, which were found to contain xylene.
Customers have been advised not to eat the products, and return them to the supermarket for a full refund.
An alert from the FSA said exposure to xylene in food products posed a health risk.
“The contaminant levels in this [gravy granules] product exceed those set to minimise this risk and the product is therefore being recalled as a precaution,” the FSA said.
Xylene is a petrochemical used as a solvent in products such as paints and inks.
Exposure can cause irritation of the mouth, throat, nose and lungs and in severe cases lead to heart problems, liver and kidney damage and coma, according to Public Health England.
The products affected are 300g packets of Kania Gravy Granules for meat and for chicken with best before dates of October and November 2017.
Other Kania products are not affected by the recall.
Lidl has said it takes the issue ‘very seriously’ and is working with its supplier to identify the cause.
Lidl will display notices in all stores that sold the products, and customers are being urged to return the granules for a full refund.
A spokeswoman for Lidl said: “We were very sorry to hear of this matter and can confirm that an investigation was launched as soon as we were made aware.
“We are taking the issue very seriously and are working closely with our supplier to identify the cause.”