An outbreak of salmonella illnesses in three states is linked to tahini imported from Palestine, health officials say.
Samples of the sesame seed product with the Karawan brand contained Salmonella Concord when tested by the New York City Health Department. Broddzenatti Holding LLC, of Jupiter, Fla., recalled the product sold in 16-ounce jars and 39-pound buckets that were imported from December 2018 to April 2019.
The FDA sought the recall “based on the positive product sample, the available epidemiological data and traceback data from the investigation,” the federal agency’s announcement says.
Tahini often is used in hummus, falafel and other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. The recalled brand was sold in bulk to retailers and restaurants and was available to consumers at retail locations and online. It may have been used in other food products sold to consumers.
At the time of the announcement, four people in New York, Massachusetts and Texas had reported illnesses, with one hospitalized. The products also were distributed to Virginia.
Broddzenatti Holding has stopped importing and distributing the product as the FDA and the business continue to investigate what caused the problem.
The investigation is ongoing, but at this time the current outbreak does not appear to be related to an outbreak of Salmonella Concord over last year and this year linked to tahini.
Note that product has a two-year shelf life, and people with the tahini at home should discard it or return it for a refund. Anyone concerned about tahini they ate in food from a restaurant or store should ask the business whether the food contained this tahini. Retailers and restaurants should throw the product out and sanitize any surfaces that may have come in contact with the tahini.
People with recall questions may contact Broddzenatti Holding at 305-570-9050 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Visit www.fda.gov/fcic for more information about whom to contact if you ate the tahini and had symptoms; what steps to take if you’ve had the product at home; and how businesses that sold the product should react.