Thursday, April 25, 2024

Tahini products recalled over Salmonella scare

Products containing tahini from the brands, Lisa’s, Greater! and Prep Kitchen are being recalled due to the possible presence of Salmonella.

“Salmonellosis can be serious, so it is important that people do not eat these products,” says New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general, Vincent Arbuckle.

Symptoms appear within 12 to 72 hours and include abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. Illness usually lasts between 4 and 7 days but, in more severe cases, it can go on for up to 10 days and cause more serious illness.

“If you have consumed any of these products and are concerned for your health, contact your health professional, or call Healthline on 0800 61 11 16,” said Mr Arbuckle.

“These products can be returned to the place of purchase for a refund.”

The Lisa’s, Greater! and Prep Kitchen brand products are sold in supermarkets and retail outlets throughout New Zealand. The products have been removed from store shelves and have not been exported.

There have been no reports of associated illness.

Recall page: Various brands of Hummus and Tahini

“This is a complex recall because the tahini is imported from Turkey, and is used in a large variety of products, so our recall page will be updated throughout the day. You can subscribe to our food recall emails to get the latest information,” said Mr Arbuckle.

He said food importers were responsible for the safety of the food they bring in to sell in New Zealand.

In addition to this, certain high-risk foods, including tahini, require a food-safety clearance at the border. To gain food safety clearance, an importer may need to provide an official certificate, other documentation, or product may require sampling and testing when it arrives in New Zealand.

“No testing can be fail-safe, so the additional required controls put in place by an importer are critical.”

In this instance, routine manufacturer testing detected Salmonella in product already in New Zealand.

“As is our usual practice, New Zealand Food Safety will be working with Life Health Foods NZ Ltd to understand how the contamination occurred and prevent its recurrence,” Mr Arbuckle said.

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