Call for changes to Aldi chocolate
A Melbourne woman said she spent Easter Sunday in the intensive care unit of her local emergency department suffering an anaphylactic reaction after consuming what she believed was "dairy-free" chocolate from Aldi.
The woman, known only as Kaley, said she mistakenly purchased "Dairy Fine" branded chocolates for Easter, thinking the label indicated they didn't contain dairy.
Kaley posted about her ordeal to a popular allergy Facebook page from her hospital bed this week, claiming the reaction was "one of the worst" she had experienced in her life.
"I'm currently in hospital and was admitted overnight after an anaphylactic reaction from accidentally misreading the packaging on this chocolate," she wrote.
"Be careful everyone else."
A spokeswoman for Aldi told news.com.au that the customer has not yet approached the company.
The nursing student lives with a life-threatening allergy to lactose and nuts, and told 7 News it only took her a single bite of Aldi's Dairy Fine Easter chocolate to know something wasn't right.
"I noticed straight away it didn't taste like my normal chocolate," she said.
"I then turned the bunny around to see it said 'dairy fine' on the front, but it was very hard to see."
Minutes later, Kaley said she was reaching for her Epipen and was in an ambulance to hospital.
According to 7 News, doctors treated her anaphylaxis with adrenaline, which soothed the massive swelling in her throat and allowed to breathe properly once more.
"I'm still very unwell but I'm past my anaphylactic reaction and I'm very lucky that I did get through it," she told the news outlet.
"It's one of my worst reactions."
Allergy and Anaphylaxis Australia has publicly called on the manufacturers of the chocolate to "improve labelling to make it clearer for consumers with food allergies."
"This issue also highlights the need to read the ingredient list and allergen statements every time a product is purchased," a statement by the group said.
A statement released by the advocacy group said several customers had been convinced that Aldi's Easter chocolate was dairy free, only to be shocked when they inspected the product more closely at home.
"Be sure to read ingredient list as chocolate brand Dairy Fine is NOT dairy free," the statement said.
"Several have made mistakes and ended up in emergency departments."
A representative for the group claimed they had approached Aldi last year about the packaging issue, but had not seen any changes.
"We will be discussing it with authorities this week," they said.