Rianne Ward, 39, was enraged when she “smelt something odd” about Aldi’s vegetarian Cucina Lasagne Sauce that she used to make a pasta dish for her son.
Ward, who converted to Islam seven years ago, explained that the sauce has a smoked flavor like that of bacon, which made her believe that it does contain bacon and therefore made her furious as she felt like she betrayed her religion for consuming pork.
“I just sat down and my young son said ‘Mummy, this smells like bacon’,” Ward told Derbyshire Live.
“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.”
Ward added that even though the sauce did not contain pieces of bacon, she is still certain that it is contaminated with bacon as she is still familiar with the processed meat’s taste and smell.
“There was no bacon in it because it had a vegetarian label but a staff member kept telling me it was a carbonara sauce,” she said. “It isn’t. It’s just a white sauce but that shouldn’t explain why it tastes like bacon.”
Ward filed a formal complaint with Aldi regarding the issue and kept some of the dish inside her refrigerator as evidence.
She added that she is still hoping for compensation for what happened because the experience left her disappointed in the product and the company, still convinced that the product is contaminated.
“I’m absolutely furious. I’ve been a Muslim for years now and avoided bacon for so long,” said Ward. “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.”
As a response to the issue, a spokesperson for Aldi clarified that its Cucina Lasagne Sauce is vegetarian and does not contain bacon or any meat. Instead, the sauce contains smoked flavoring to mimic the taste and smell of bacon.
“We are sorry to hear Miss Ward is unhappy with this product and can reassure her the lasagne sauce is completely meat free,” the spokesperson said in a statement.
“The product is flavoured with smoked salt which gives it its distinctive taste.”