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Whole Foods Issues Recall After Accidentally Labeling Chicken Salads as Vegan

Update Date: May 10, 2013 02:05 PM EDT

Vegan customers in the Northeast may have been shocked to find that their preferred salad from Whole Foods was decidedly not vegan. In fact, the curried chick'n salad contained meat and eggs. The organic food grocer has since recalled the salad.

According to the Associated Press, the mix-up can be traced to two salads. The grocer sells both curried chicken salads for meat-eaters and curried chick'n salads for vegans. They were either sold at the cold food bar, where customers could scoop food into containers, or behind a glass at the prepared food section.

Though it may seem obvious to many, the salads are not easily distinguishable just on looks alone. The mix-up also could have had ramifications beyond someone accidentally discovering that they liked tofu. In fact, the vegan version contained soy, while the meat version contained eggs. For someone with a severe allergy to one of those products, that mix-up could lead to a serious, even life-threatening, allergic reaction.

Fortunately, the company says that they have received no complaints about illnesses from their customers. The mix-up was discovered by an employee who works at the prepared food section in one of the affected stores. The store is issuing a recall and has posted signs in the stores alerting customers of the problem.

Food Poisoning Bulletin reports that the 15 affected stores were located in Darien, CT; Fairfield, CT;  West Hartford, CT; Portland, ME;  Framingham, MA; Fresh Pond in Cambridge, MA; Milburn-Union, NJ; Montclair, NJ;  Rose City-Madison, NJ; West Orange, NJ; Jericho, NY; Lake Grove, NY; Manhasset, NY; Columbus Circle in New York City and Upper West Side in New York City.

"Consumers who have purchased this product from Whole Foods Market may return it to the store for a full refund," the company said, according to ABC News. "Consumers with questions should contact their local store or call 617-492-5500 between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST." 

Whole Foods is an Austin, Texas-based company that has 330 stores currently open.

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