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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 10 December, 2019
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Do not eat: Supermarkets warned to keep daffodils away from fruit and veg

The National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland said bulbs have been mistaken as onions in some cases.

Image: Anwar Hussein

SUPERMARKETS IN BRITAIN have been warned to keep daffodils in stock away from fruit and vegetables in case they are mistaken for food.

The BBC reports that a letter to all major stores from Public Health England stated the flowers could be confused with onions or Chinese vegetables.

Poisoning 

Professor Paul Cosford, director for health protection at Public Health England, said that supermarkets should take “steps to avoid daffodil poisonings this spring”.

The letter noted that there were 27 cases of poisoning linked to daffodils last year.

The National Poisons Information Centre of Ireland said there have been cases where adults have been poisoned by tulip and daffodil bulbs which people mistook for onions and ate as part of a meal.

The bulbs of daffodils can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea if eaten. Handling daffodil, tulip and hyacinth bulbs can also cause itching and rash, it warned.

The centre, based out of Beaumont Hospital, has these safety tips:

  • Plant flower bulbs and corms as soon as possible after you buy them.
  • Store flower bulbs and corms out of sight and out of reach of young children.
  • Never store flower bulbs and onions/shallots in the same room or shed.
  • Label bags, boxes or containers of flower bulbs clearly.
  • Supervise young children closely if they’re “helping” you plant flower bulbs.
  • Wear gloves when handling bulbs.

If poisoning is suspected, the centre advises that medical advice be sought.

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