Mother who is allergic to cod complains to supermarket after fish pie made her ill

Rozina Sabur
Michelle Patterson complained to Morrisons - Guzelian

For food shoppers allergic to cod, steering clear of fish pies may seem par for the course for most sufferers.

Not so for Michelle Patterson, who has complained to Morrisons after buying one of their fish pies - despite having a severe allergy to cod. 

The mother of six was hospitalised after she ate the pie, from a store in West Yorkshire had to be rushed to Airedale Hospital by paramedics after she was struggling to breathe earlier this month.

It did say the words 'whitefish' but if you can put haddock on the label, why can't they say cod as well

Michelle Patterson

The 55-year-old believed she could have died had she not stopped eating it and is now calling on the supermarket to reconsider its labeling of the product as it had no specific mention of cod.

"I was lucky I stopped eating it after just four mouthfuls," said Ms Patterson, who runs a business buying and selling secondhand goods.

"Cooking for six kids means I usually prepare most of the meals myself but it had been a busy day so just picked up the fish pie for tea. I first realised I was allergic to cod when I was 11-years-old and was ill for three days. I have never eaten it or had an allergic reaction in all these years and I love seafood more than anything else.

"I have always been very careful and read the labels. The product listed that it included haddock but did not say anything about cod. It did say the words 'whitefish' but if you can put haddock on the label, why can't they say cod as well?"

Consumers might expect a fish pie to contain cod Credit: Bon Appetit /Alamy

The ingredients label of the pie listed "salmon, haddock, smoked fish and whitefish".

Ms Patterson believed that the whitefish in this type of food was usually from pollock and hake.

Ms Patterson had to spend a night in hospital before being allowed to go home the following morning.

She was offered a £5 refund of the fish pie and told in a letter that it is not a requirement for Morrisons to advise which species of fish is in the product.

Ms Patterson told them it was not about the money and has asked Morrisons to look at its labelling policy so broad ingredients like 'whitefish' are properly identified so another incident is avoided in the future.

A Morrisons spokesman said: "We are sorry to hear about Ms Patterson's allergic reaction. Cod is a whitefish, and the label clearly states that the fish pie includes whitefish."

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