Aldi has issued a statement reassuring customers across Britain after a Muslim woman slammed the supermarket outlet when she tasted pork in one of its pasta sauces.
Rianne Ward said she was “distraught” when she tasted the jar of Cucina lasagne sauce from Aldi and thought it contained pork – which is prohibited to consume in Islam.
She said she “smelt something odd” about the sauce, which was labelled as suitable for vegetarians.
In response, Aldi has reassured its customers that their product is vegetarian and explained that the sauce has a distinctive “smoked” flavour.
Miss Ward told Derbyshire Live she was angry when she tasted the food because she thought that it contained bacon.
She said: “I just sat down and my young son said ‘Mummy, this smells like bacon’.
“When I ate it, it tasted just like bacon which made me feel sick. I was absolutely seething and went back down to the store.
“I just went in with the jar of sauce and made them smell it. I thought it must have been contaminated.”
After converting to Islam in 2012, Miss Ward is familiar with the taste and odour of pork.
Miss Ward said: “There was no bacon in it because it had a vegetarian label but a staff member kept telling me it was a carbonara sauce.
“It isn’t. It’s just a white sauce but that shouldn’t explain why it tastes like bacon.”
Miss Ward has lodged a formal complaint with Aldi and has put aside some of the dish in her fridge as evidence, still concerned that the sauce may have been contaminated with bacon.
The mother from Derby said she’s hoping to be compensated for the incident because she feels extremely let down by the product and Aldi.
She added: “I’m absolutely furious. I’ve been a Muslim for years now and avoided bacon for so long.
“Then this happens. I felt like I’d betrayed my religion. Aldi have told me they are going to test the sauce to see if it has been contaminated. It’s just not on.”
An Aldi spokesperson said that the lasagne sauce is vegetarian but contains a smoked flavouring.
The spokesperson said: “We are sorry to hear Miss Ward is unhappy with this product and can reassure her the lasagne sauce is completely meat free.
“The product is flavoured with smoked salt which gives it its distinctive taste.”