Supermarkets in the UK have been asked to ensure all daffodils are kept separate from fruit and vegetables to prevent customers eating the poisonous plants by mistake. Public Health England (PHE) said people have been known to mistake daffodil bulbs for onions and the stems of a popular Chinese vegetable. If eaten, daffodils can cause vomiting and diarrhoea and irritation to the mouth and throat, according to the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre, which said symptoms can last anywhere from four to 24 hours.
We can’t hope to stop every possible incident but I would hope that by ensuring that daffodils are not displayed alongside fruit and vegetables, we can reduce the number of people accidentally buying them as food.
Professor Paul Cosford, head of Health Protection at Public Health England
In a letter, entitled “Steps to avoid daffodil poisonings this spring”, Professor Paul Cosford, head of Health Protection at Public Health England, said all stores and major supermarkets should 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.