Always check food labels – Sainsbury’s prawn crackers contain milk!

Recently I ate some prawn crackers. I love prawn crackers. They are one of those snacks which I can often enjoy because prawn crackers are gluten, wheat and dairy free. Woo Hoo.

They do contain fish and egg so are no good if you are allergic to these allergens but for me, they’re tasty and make a change from ready salted crisps!

Marks & Spencers dairy free prawn crackers

I eat these ones

Marks & Spencer Prawn Crackers, which do come with all the annoying may contain warnings, but which are OK for me to eat.

I love them and often probably annoy the other passengers on the late train home from London by munching my way through a pack if I’ve not found suitable food elsewhere.

And I eat these ones

Sharwoods gluten, wheat and dairy free prawn crackers
Sharwoods Prawn Crackers ingredients:

Tapioca Starch, Vegetable Oil, Prawns (14%), Sugar, Egg, Salt.

Which are more pricey, but you know what you’re getting.

No gluten, wheat or dairy.

Just plain old salt of the earth prawn crackers.

Sometimes I even eat these ones

Tesco prawn crackers - dairy free
Ingredients for Tesco prawn crackers:

Tapioca Flour, High Oleic Sunflower Oil, egg, Prawn (7%), Sugar, Salt.

Simple ingredients and pretty much the same across the board from all the brands I’ve featured here, and other brands.

There is a bit of theme going on here isn’t there?

I think I may be eating too many prawn crackers…

Recently I ate ONE cracker from a pack of these ones…

Sainsbury's Prawn Crackers sometimes contain MILK

Sainsbury’s Prawn Crackers sometimes contain MILK

Which I’ve eaten before.

Many times.

I know I’ve eaten them before.

A quick google search and I found them online with the following ingredients:

Tapioca Flour, Vegetable Oil, Prawns (13%), Sugar, Whole Egg, Salt.

However the pack I bought, looked exactly the same but the ingredients read: Tapioca flour, high oleiec sunflower oil (whatever that is) prawns (in bold), sugar, salt, condensed cows MILK (ALSO IN BOLD)- GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Strangely these don’t appear to contain egg, but they sure tasted like the normal egg based prawn crackers… Is this a mistake with labelling?

One bite and I knew something was WRONG!

Itchy lips and throat, very slight tingling and that feeling in my throat of wanting to claw the food back out.

Too late.

But three whopper antihistamines, chewing gum on speed dial, water, sitting calmly and a few gallons of tea later and all is well.

I inadvertently touched the skin on my neck and chest with a prawn-crackery hand and it was COVERED in hives, which has been driving me insane ever since but on the whole, a lucky escape.

My stomach was very sore and felt like it was tied in knots after only a short time and gave me some pain overnight, but I was fine this morning.

When I woke I thought my face was on fire, but I think mostly thanks to Protopic (the flushing may have been caused by the Protopic), when I actually GOT up my face was OK. Eyes a bit sore, but on the whole, unscathed from the attack of ONE blooming prawn cracker.

Please don’t make the same mistake I made. Just because a lot of stuff at Sainsbury’s IS OK for me, does not mean that I should stop checking labels.

Just because LOTS of other prawn crackers do not contain milk does not mean all prawn crackers are milk free.

A big reminder to me that checking labels is a MUST ALWAYS.

If you have an egg allergy these Sainsbury’s prawn crackers are suitable which is some good news I guess. But not if you are allergic to milk.

Sainsbury’s have confirmed that they are egg free but contain milk due to the pellets they use to make them.

If you have allergies there is a never a day when NOT checking for allergens is an option because that is the day, like yesterday, when you will take a bite and know instantly that you shouldn’t have taken the risk.

If I hadn’t noticed the early symptoms so quickly would I have had a more severe reaction?

Sainsbury’s Prawn Crackers contain MILK

If you have an allergy to dairy DO NOT EAT SAINSBURY’S PRAWN CRACKERS – EVER!

Please check ALL labels, even when you THINK you KNOW something is OK. Which reminds me about the Tyrells vegetable crinkle cut crisps which also contain milk but look just like the normal ones which don’t.

Anyone want some prawn crackers?

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About Ruth

Ruth works freelance as a copywriter and writes the What Allergy blog to share information with people who have allergies, eczema, asthma and food intolerances. was voted in the top 5 allergy blogs and Ruth also judges regularly for the FreeFrom Food Awards and FreeFrom Skincare Awards. She also won the Foods You Can People's choice Best FreeFrom blogger award 2014.


  1. Ooooh – that is REALLY not good – and especially from a company that is as engaged in ‘freefrom’ as Sainsbury’s. The absolute classic – if you are going to change the formulations you MUST highlight it on pack and 100 times more so if you are introducing an allergen which was not there originally. I am really shocked……..

  2. PS So sorry – should also have said that I am very glad that you were OK even if somewhat itchy!!!

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for your comment and yes I think I will speak to Sainsbury’s, even though in this instance I don’t feel this is their fault. Maybe I haven’t had their prawn crackers for longer than I thought. I will find out though, when they changed the recipe. The weird thing is, I am pretty sure the packet didn’t say eggs but surely all prawn crackers contain eggs don’t they? And because it was only a tiny amount, after the itching hives in my mouth went down, all I am left with is a flare up on my chest. Thank GOD for Protopic, the inevitable flare-up of eczema which I used to always get on my face has moved to somewhere else on my body and is so much easier to treat, cope with and HIDE. Hooray for Protopic.

  3. Good thing you had your antihistamines to hand.
    Hope you contact sainsburys for their comment. And why ever does a prawn cracker need milk as an ingredient?

    • Hello Mum, remember those crinkle cut Tyrells vegetable crisps? Another example of not all things being equal. I am never without the bumper dose antihistamines. And luckily for me, like with nuts, I KNOW almost the second that allergen passes my lips, which on the one hand, annoys me because I hate being so allergic, but it also has a MASSIVE plus in that I never eat more than a tiny amount of allergen on these occasions when I do make a mistake, and let’s face it, we are all human. PS. I will take more care in future. Until the next mistake…

  4. What a reminder of a lesson to check ingredients.
    We get SO relaxed with products we are familiar with. How horrid for you you to feel like that with only one cracker. However, how astute is your body! Thankfully you were okay. Good article for us all Ruth.

    • I know, and I do check all the time, because supermarkets all have numerous varieties of the same product, eg. Doritos, which come in about six different flavours, and I can only have the plain one. We have also learnt to our cost that Cool Doritos is NOT the plain one! I usually have the M&S ones so this is a lesson… for me… not just that I eat too many prawn crackers, but that also I HAVE to check ALL labels. ALWAYS

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