Supermarkets warned to keep "poisonous" daffodils away from food by Public Health England

Jessica Morris
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Supermarkets must keep daffodils away from food (Source: Getty)

Health bosses have sent letters to supermarkets reminding them to keep daffodils away from fruit and vegetable aisle this spring, in a bid to stop their customers accidentally ingesting the poisonous plant.

Public Health England (PHE) said people can mistake daffodil bulbs for spring onions and a popular Chinese vegetable, with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea and irritation lasting up to 24 hours.

There were 27 instances of individuals seeking help from nurses and doctors after eating daffodils last year, and over the last six years 63 patients have suffering symptoms.

PHE said the number of medical cases tends to remain the same each year, but there's always a spike around spring time when the flower comes into season and is stocked by supermarkets.

In the letter, which was sent to all major retailers, PHE said: "Each spring stores such as yours provide a wide selection of flowers, particularly cut daffodils and daffodil bulbs."

"Unfortunately there are rare occasions when the bulbs are mistaken for onions, and the stems or leaves are mistaken for a type of vegetable popular in China."

"As I'm sure you are aware, daffodils are dangerous if eaten and poisoning can occur as a result."

"We are asking you, along with all other major supermarkets, to ensure that daffodils, both the bulbs from which they sprout and the cut variety too, are displayed well away from the produce or fruit and vegetable area."

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