5 sick with Salmonella from Tahini

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is posting this information to ensure the widest possible dissemination to the public.

FDA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, is investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Concord illnesses linked to tahini imported from an Israeli manufacturer, Achdut Ltd., located in Ari’el, Israel.

On November 28, 2018, in response to the on-going investigation, Soom Foods voluntarily recalled the following additional products:

12 oz. Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread 071318CH. Packed from tahini lot 18-123.

And tahini in the following sizes and types:

40 lb. Organic Tahini.

40 lb. Premium Tahini.

16 oz. Premium Tahini.

16 oz. Organic Tahini.

11 oz. Premium Tahini.

The tahini product lot codes range from 18-097 through 18-141.

Some of the above listed products were included in the original voluntary recall by Achdut Ltd. on November 27, 2018. The FDA is advising consumers not to eat recalled Achva, Achdut, Soom, S&F, and Pepperwood brand tahini and Soom brand Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread (lot code 071318CH) with expiration dates ranging from April 7, 2020 to May 21, 2020 and Baron’s brand tahini with the expiration date of May 5, 2021. The product lot codes range from 18-097 to 18-141. Consumers should discard the product or return the product to the store for a refund.

Some brands of tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. may lack specific dates or may have labels that are written in Hebrew. Consumers who have purchased a tahini product and are uncertain of where the product was manufactured or cannot identify the brand by lot codes or expiration dates should discard the product or return the food to the store for a refund. More product information and pictures of the recalled product labels can be found in Achdut ‘s recall announcement. View Soom Foods’ recall announcement.

Retailers and restaurants should not use any of the recalled tahini manufactured by Achdut Ltd. at their establishments. Retailers and restaurants should throw the product out. 

Firms that may have used the recalled tahini (either repacked or used as an ingredient in a food without a kill step) should consider recalling their products.

(One of the only U2 songs I like, because of the guitar and it was inspired by a Tom Robbins novel.)

From the Salmonella-in-low-moisture-foods file: another tahini product recalled

Although my kids have expanded their food choices beyond pizza, pasta and chicken nuggets, hummus and carrot sticks are still a staple in my house. Salmonella in hummus isn’t a new thing; a Detroit-area grocery store is recalling sesame paste.

A West Bloomfield grocery store has recalled containers of its sesame paste that might be contaminated with salmonella.501930474_cdea9851ac_o

Sinbad Foods, located at 6251 Haggerty Road, said in a Tuesday release that 1-pound and 2-pound containers of its Tahina Telkef with “packed on” dates of Oct. 7, 2016, and “sell by” dates of Dec. 5, 2016, are on the recall list.

The 1-pound containers will have the numbers 0200004506472 and 0200004406413 in the barcode. Two-pound containers will have 0200000406295 in the barcode.

The potential contamination was discovered with the Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development conducted tests on a sample of the product.

Salmonella in organic sesame seeds, sold in Ireland, grown in Bolivia

In a stunning example of local, organic healthy-type food, the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) today advised that a product recall is being undertaken on certain packets of sesame seed mixes supplied into the Irish retail market by Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd.

These seed mixes are being recalled due to the presence of Salmonella which presents a risk to consumers’ health. The issue was identified as part of a survey on ready-to-eat nuts and dried seeds. Consumers are being warned not to consume the affected products which are as follows:

Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd
Product Name: Organic Sesame Seeds, 250g, 500g packs
Organic Four Seed Mix, 250g, 500g packs
Best-before date: 11/03/2011 to 07/05/2011 inclusive
Country of Origin: Bolivia

These seeds have been distributed widely within the Republic of Ireland. Some packets clearly show the name Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd, other packs have been supplied to independent retailers (e.g. health stores) and this packaging states: "packed by Independent Irish Health Foods" on the front of the pack.

Prof Alan Reilly, chief executive, FSAI, said it is particularly concerning that this is the second time a Salmonella issue has been identified in relation to sesame seeds in less than a year. Food businesses marketing these products need to ensure that both hygiene and processing are of a standard to eliminate Salmonella from these ready-to-eat products.

Sesame, sunflower seeds possibly linked to UK salmonella outbreak

The Independent reports that Tesco, Waitrose and well-known health food shops have withdrawn tens of thousands of packets of edible seeds in one of the biggest product recalls in a decade after a survey found "unacceptable" levels of salmonella and E. coli.

One-in-50 packs of ready-to-eat seeds such as sesame and sunflower was found to be contaminated.

The study’s authors pointed out that although there was no direct link to the contaminated seeds, 137 people in England and Wales fell ill from six sub-types of salmonella found in the seeds during the six-month study. Many more ill people are likely to have not reported their symptoms to GPs. The Health Protection Agency and the local authority group Lacors, which conducted the study, warned food manufacturers and retailers to improve hygiene during harvesting and drying of seeds.

The study was carried out because seeds – a popular snack among health-conscious shoppers wishing to avoid high-calorie chocolate and sweets – have become associated with at least seven outbreaks of salmonella in countries such as Germany, Norway, Sweden and Australia since 2000.

To gauge levels of contamination here, environmental health officers from 317 local authorities collected 3,735 packets of ready-to-eat seeds from 3,390 supermarkets, health food shops, convenience stores and market stalls between October 2007 and March 2008. They were analysed in 32 food laboratories.

Sesame and Salmonella — the new macaroni and cheese?

This morning the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is announcing a recall of a sesame seed product (crackers and chips) due to Salmonella contamination.  Although no illnesses linked to the crackers have been confirmed, this recall one is yet another in a string of recalls linked to Salmonella-contaminated sesame seeds and products.

On January 22, 2008 CFIA announced a recall of bulk and packaged organic sesame seeds distributed under various brands in the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta and British Columbia due to Salmonella contamination.

In June 2007 CFIA warned that GD Sesame seed might have been contaminated with Salmonella and conducted a recall (and check out the related alerts under the press release title, there were an additional eight sesame/Salmonella recalls linked to this one in 2007).

In May Salmonella-contaminated sesame tahini was recalled by Whole Foods Market Inc.

Last January the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found Salmonella in sesame seeds at Woodhouse Commodities Inc. (and the president of the company was charged for allegedly not disclosing that some of the seeds were sold despite a product hold).

Last years major Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut butter, and two big Salmonella outbreaks linked to almonds earlier in the decade demonstrate how resilient Salmonella can be on dried products. At IAFP in August 2005, I co-moderated a symposium at which Robert Tauxe of the CDC said sesame seeds and Salmonella was the next big thing on the international food safety horizon.  His prediction is looking pretty good.