CSPI Quorn Complaints
Center for Science in the Public Interest


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Victims Of Quorn Poisoning Tell Their Stories

I developed a bad stomachache, headache, and nausea and vomiting after consuming 2 Quorn patties for lunch and part of a bag of Quorn cubes a few hours later.... The stomachache started shortly after eating the products but I did not make the connection until I began vomiting a number of hours later. I will never eat this product again because I believe the symptoms were due to the Quorn products. I also had a very unusual taste in my mouth with [belching] after I ate Quorn and it didn’t go away until after I vomited numerous times.... I was very ill and I was alone.
P.H.
Boulder, Colorado
 
On 3 separate occasions I suffered severe, sudden nausea followed by a few hours of violent vomiting after eating Quorn products. I was out for dinner and had to make my journey home while vomiting violently every few minutes.
C.J.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
 
About 1.5 hours after eating the meatballs...I felt a tingling sensation throughout my entire body. I broke into a heatflash...so bad I was dripping wet from sweat. My shirt was soaking wet. My entire insides felt like they were being turned inside out. 2 hours after eating the product I started vomiting violently. In all...I had 4 episodes of intense vomiting & 2 bouts of diarhea.
D.A.
Leola, PA
 
Severe diarrhea and stomach pains within an hour of eating Quorn pieces or Quorn mince. As a school teacher it is difficult to leave your class to keep dashing to the loo!
S.H.
Kilham, England
 
I have tried Quorn on a number of occasions since about 1997. Initially I had no reaction, however the second time I tried a Quorn product (sausages) in 1997, I was violently ill. This consisted of diarrhea and vomiting for a period of 12 hours until the entire contents of my stomach had been emptied. Indeed , I was so ill that I vomited blood. Not aware that it was Quorn which had made me so ill I had it again on another occasion and had exactly the same reaction, therefore stopped eating it. Unfortunately I inadvertently ate it again whilst at dinner one evening, to yet again experience sickness. On each occasion I have been ill on different Quorn products, including mince, burgers and sausages. The course of illness has always followed the same routine – after 1 hour I felt nauseous and sweaty and after 2 hours violently sick. I can honestly say that I have NEVER been as violently sick as I have after Quorn. Needless to say, I no longer eat the wretched stuff (since about 1998), but have to be increasingly vigilant when looking at ingredients, especially as supermarket chains such as TESCO have now started to produce some of their own brand food with Quorn in them.
N.H.
Eastbourne, England
 
I ate one portion of Quorn meat substitute. I became VERY sick, nausea and vomiting (several times). I assumed that I had a stomach virus. Later that night I realized that I had eaten something earlier that I had never eaten before. I looked it up on my laptop and saw that others had been similarily sickened. I threw out the remainder of the box. I have never any Quorn product again, and I have been amazed that the products are still on the market. I was SOOOO sick.
A.W.
Durham, NC
 
I have had a violent reaction to eating Quorn on three occasions (only in retrospect identifying Quorn as the common element). Symptoms came on between three and five hours after ingestion. They started as a headache and rapidly turned into a migraine type attack, followed quickly by diarrhea and then simultaneous vomiting. This would last for a couple of hours. I then found that I needed to sleep for sometime and when I woke suffered from what I can only describe as a hangover. The effects of my reaction took about 24 to 36 hours to clear... My reaction was not unlike Salmonella poisoning (which I have had) and was put down to that. It was this attack made me realize it was Quorn as I ate an identical meal to my sister, who was unaffected.
T.B.
London, UK
 
I've had Quorn products twice. The first was with a ground beef substitute...an hour or so later, I was violently vomiting in the bathroom and suffering diarrhea as well. You'd think I'd have learned, but I didn't make the full connection when my wife servced the "chik'n nuggets" yesterday evening. I ate only TWO of them...the rest of my meal was other stuff that I eat all the time without problem. Two hours later, it hit me again. Twenty heaving spells in the bathroom, stabbing pains in my stomache, and a microdot headache that I now realize I have only experienced in the past when I was having a reaction to food that disagreed with me. Today I'm better...not perfect, mind you, some residual "microdot headache," some on-again/off-again nausea...but at least I'm not in nasty pain or leaning over the toilet again.
J.R.
Miami, FL
 
Severe vomiting 3 hours after eating Quorn products on three separate occasions, accompanied by fever. On the first occasion this resulted in being ill and not eating for 10 days, on the latter two occasions I was able to eat again after 2 days.
K.W.
Hertford, UK
 
After eating the meat substitue I had severe nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. I looked at the package ingredients and did not see anything that I was allergic to so I thought I had a 24-hr bug, so I did not throw away. Tried product a second time with even worse symptoms so after that I threw remaining product away.
T.P.
Washington, DC
 
In 1995 I was a nanny for two boys. One night we all ate a Quorn stir fry made by their mum... By the time I got home I was having an extremely violent reaction: intense stomach cramps, paralysis in my hands (which happened while I was driving home), and violent vomiting. A doctor had to be called and she diagnosed food poisoning... I always avoided Quorn after that even though I didn’t know anyone else who had had a similar reaction. About two years ago I was at playgroup with my son and someone had made a nonmeat bolegnase and had used some Quorn mince... I had some and then sure enough about an hour and a half later I was feeling very unwell and was throwing up with a bad headache. This episode confirmed for me that it must be a reaction to the Quorn...these reactions were particularly violent.
J.H.
London, England
 
On two occasions, about half an hour after eating an evening meal based upon Quorn I felt violently sick. I spent the next six hours with diarrhea, vomiting and was too weak to do anything but lie down; too weak even to sit up. By the next morning this had passed. I have a pretty strong stomach and can eat just about anything. I have never had an adverse reaction to any other food.
A.M.
Wrexham, Wales
 
Violent sickness, followed by diarrhea. This has happened 3 times, the last time without the knowledge that the product was Quorn (it was sold as Vegetarian sausages) but after my sickness I confirmed it had been Quorn with the vendor. Required half day off work and recovery time at home
C.B.
London, England
 
I ate Quorn nearly every day and became sick with not vomiting but pains in my stomach that were horrible. Each time I would eat, I would have pains in the upper stomach area. I finally figured it out the problem was Quorn! I stopped eating and it went away. Since then I stopped eating Quorn of course.
C.T.
Anaheim, CA
 
I am a veggie. I eat Quorn once in a while. [When I do] my stool is always extremely slack, and really foul smelling, with accompanying abdominal cramps. I have very little notice to answer the call to stool, and have often been unable to get to the WC in time. I was twice incontinent of feces in public!!
U.F.
Leeds, U.K.
 
On several occasions, following the consumption of Quorn I have vomited severely and developed a red/purple blotchy rash under my eyes. It was only by the second occasion that we established the link to Quorn. Subsequent incidents were accidental as it was not realized that an item contained Quorn. On two occasions we traveled home by car. Though my wife drove me, I was vomiting. On one occasion this was into a bag, but on another we had to make many stops on the way for me to be sick.
G.C.
Worthing, England
 
A few years ago, on many different occasions, I became violently ill after eating Quorn - vomiting, diarrhea, shaking. On some occasions, I was so violently sick that I tore something inside me because of the retching. I was coughing up blood. On at least one occasion I can remember, the emergency doctor had to be called out because I was so ill. I am a vegetarian and have been for about 12 or 13 years. I used to eat Quorn every now and again, but it wasn’t for quite some time that I put two and two together and realized that it was the Quorn that was making me ill. I even went to a BBQ once, had a Quorn burger, and by the time my Mum came to collect me because I wasn’t feeling well, I was sick on the driveway of the house I was at! It left me very weak for a day or two after having this reaction. Ever since the BBQ, I thought that it was the Quorn that could possibly be making me ill. I stopped eating it from that time and have never been ill since. I now won’t touch the stuff with a barge pole! I couldn’t do anything or go anywhere. I couldn’t go to college or out with my friends. I was incapacitated for a couple of days whenever I had this reaction and it left me very weak afterwards. The emergency doctor had to be called on at least once occasion when I was retching so hard that I tore something inside and was coughing up blood.
L.M.W.
Bradford, England
 
A few hours after eating a Quorn product I had severe stomach cramps and vomited and dry heaved over the course of several hours and had severe sweats. I had experienced similar, but milder symptoms after eating a Quorn product once before, but only made the connection the second time. I was in the middle of a volunteer shift at the local hospice and had to leave.
S.S.
Washington, DC
 
Severe bouts of vomiting and diarrhea. Also felt very listless and dizzy. I reacted to Quorn products three times before I realized that it was the culprit! It spoiled my Christmas. I did not feel very well at all.
A.H.
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
 
The natural foods co-op in Davis, CA started carrying Quorn about three months ago. From the beginning they had signs up that it was made from a fungus and that they didn’t believe the packaging to be totally accurate. (Since this happened to me they have put up a warning for those with mold allergies.) I’ll try just about anything though and as a vegetarian I’m always looking for the next tasty meat substitute. I bought the cutlet, took it home, made a sandwich out of it and then went to bed. I woke up around one in the morning. I was sweating and nauseous. I probably vomited about five times and I was starting to get lightheaded and dizzy. I passed out around one thirty I’m guessing. My roommate came home at two and took me to the hospital. I was in and out of consciousness at this point. If my roommate hadn’t come home and taken me to the hospital the results could have been a disaster. At the hospital I was given Phenergen for the intense nausea, something for the cramping, and IV fluids. I was there for observation until seven in the morning.
L.H.
Lodi, CA
 
Very swollen gums and itchy sore throat after eating Quorn. Also itching on neck and stomach. I could not go to work due to feelings in my mouth and the rash.
H. K.
Newcastle, Britain
 
I felt nauseous the following morning [after eating Quorn]. Decided to still go to work. I was sick & then fainted on the underground train. I got a taxi back home and was sick outside the taxi window. I got home and was then very sick for a few hours after. Felt ill for two days. Slight diarrhea the following day. Subsidiary symptoms: bruised head & headache and pulled neck muscle due to fall in train. Was unable to perform TV “extra” work that day.
D.H.
London, England
 
This has happened to me twice. The first time, I was visiting a friend and she cooked me a Quorn fillet. About half an hour later I was violently sick and thereafter, I was sick every 15-20 minutes. Eventually I was bringing up blood and my partner took me to Casualty [Emergency Room]. There was no explanation so I thought that it must have been food poisoning. However, on another occasion, I was again violently ill after eating Quorn. I thought that I must be allergic to it and so I have never risked eating it since. It was really dreadful. I could not stop being sick and there was nothing that seemed to help. I was very frightened when I started to bring up blood in my vomit and this is when I went to Casualty.
R.S.
London, England
 
Almost immediately after eating Quorn, on a few different occasions, my stomach hurt and I experienced diarrhea. The first time I had this reaction I brushed it off as nerves or something I’d eaten earlier. The second time it happened I was willing to brush it off again, but the third time I had a stomachache and diarrhea, I stopped eating Quorn. I had to spend a large chunk of time in the bathroom relieving myself of the tasty Quorn I’d enjoyed only minutes earlier!
T.E.
Frederick, MD
 
I was sick three times in one week from eating Quorn products. On Thursday June 20, I ate a Quorn patty for dinner. A few hours later I felt sick and went to bed. I slept fitfully and awoke feeling sick (flu-like) and weak. I spent most of Friday in bed sick. A few days later I ate Quorn nuggets on a salad. After about three hours later, I felt horribly sick and nauseous. I vomited until my stomach was empty of food. The next day I felt ill for most of the day. The third time was Saturday June 29. I ate a Quorn patty for dinner. Two hours later, I felt queasy, light-headed and disoriented. I once again vomited until my stomach was empty. Now, I suspect Quorn is the culprit. I was sick three times. The first time I was out of commission for one day (this episode I did not vomit the Quorn up), the second time I could barely function the next day at work, the third time is right now. I never fully recovered after the first two times. A couple days after each poisoning, I have had diarrhea, stomach upset, headaches.
H.W.
Hillsboro, Oregon
 
My upper lip went numb and my left cheek swelled a little, within 10 minutes of eating Quorn Fillets Provencale. This was my first time eating this.
M.B.
Reston, VA
 
I split a package of Quorn Chicken Style Recipe Tenders with my two roommates. We cooked the Tenders in a marsala sauce and ate them with white rice. We ate dinner in the early evening. About 3-4 hours later my stomach started getting a little queasy. Soon I started feeling very gassy and felt like I had to burp repeatedly to keep my stomach settled. Within 30 minutes of the first symptoms, I threw up quite a bit of my dinner. Over the next two hours I threw up 3 or 4 more times until my stomach was essentially empty. I didn’t feel well at all, but there were no real symptoms other than those that would come with any vomiting (mucus production, swollen and pale face). I attributed my vomiting to a stomach flu, as one of my roommates had been vomiting the night before in what appears to be an unrelated incident (no Quorn involved, I think). Since I thought I was ill, I took the next day off of work and my stomach felt uneasy for much of the day. I didn’t each much at all until the late evening. Since I thought that I had the flu, I didn’t consider that the Quorn might have caused my problems. So on Wednesday, April 10, 2002 I split two packages of Quorn Chicken Style Nuggets with two of my roommates.... I at about 15 nuggets at 8 PM. By midnight, I was again queasy and ended up vomiting again within 30 minutes. I vomited twice that night in total. That was last night, and today I feel mildy nauseous but am eating fine. I feel pretty confident that the Quorn products are the root of my problem here. I’m sure you don’t get too many people who eat Quorn again after having trouble the first time! Luckily for you, my roommates unrelated stomach flu threw me off the trail and I managed to reproduce the initial results!

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B.P.
Watertown, MA