Wetherspoons has told customers they might want to make a change to their drink order after being hit by supply problems. The pub chain says the lime served in their drinks might not be vegan as a result of their wax coating.

It apologised to customers and said as they couldn't guarantee the product was vegan it might mean people would want to request their drinks without the "fruit garnish". It says while they usually use vegan limes at present the coating used might contain animal products.

In a customer notice which has appeared at a number of its venues it says: "Because of a short-term supply issue, we cannot currently guarantee that the lime used in drinks is vegan. This is because the coating used commonly in citrus fruits contains animal products.

"Please ask for your drink without any fruit garnish, if you wish. We expect our usual supply of vegan limes to resume as soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience."

According to the Wetherspoons website it usually uses "class 1" lemons, limes and other citrus fruit sourced from a variety of countries (including Argentina, Brazil, Cyprus, Greece, Israel, Italy, Morocco, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, Uruguay and USA). It adds its lemons and limes are vegan using a plant-based wax.

According to the Centre for Food Safety many fruits, including citrus, peaches, nectarines and apples, are waxed. This is to help preserve their shelf life as well as to protect their appearance.

This can be with either synthetic or natural sources. While they can be plant-based using waxes such as carnauba and candelilla many are obtained from insects such as shellac and beeswax.

A spokesman for Wetherspoons told the Mail: "Wetherspoon sources its lemons and limes from a vegan-friendly supplier. However, for a limited period of time, we are using a different supplier for our limes across our pubs.

"We cannot, with the new supplier, guarantee that the limes are vegan friendly and as a result have put up the notice in our pubs."