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Food Managers Beware: FDA Renews Tahini Salmonella Outbreak

DATE: 20th February 2019

With more than five confirmed cases in the United States, 40 in Israel and an undisclosed amount in Canada, the FDA has renewed its public warning that salmonella may be tainting imported tahini products, causing a recall.

All of the recalled tahini was manufactured this past year from April 7 through May 21. According to the recall notices posted on the Food and Drug Administration website, Achva, Achdut, Baron’s, Soom, S&F, and Pepperwood are the brands affected and have since begun pulling their products from stores.

Although only five confirmed Salmonella infections have been reported to U.S. federal officials, the recalled tahini products have long shelf lives with expiration dates well into 2021. The infected brands have dates and labels that are written in Hebrew, making it difficult for most American consumers to identify dates.

To identify some of the recalled tahini products, consumers and food managers should look for the following label information:

  • 12 oz. Chocolate Sweet Tahini Halva Spread with the lot code 071318CH.
  • Lot codes ranging from 18-097 through 18-14140 lb.
    • 40 lb. Premium Tahini
    • 16 oz. Premium Tahini
    • 16 oz. Organic Tahini
    • 11 oz. Premium Tahini

Due to the FDA and CDC continuing to warn restaurant owners, food managers, and other food services entities, the safest step is to report all products found on the shelf and to throw away any tahini that comes into question. Salmonella is extremely contagious and can be spread from person to person by direct or even indirect contact.

If any tahini has been opened or cooked within the kitchen we recommend cleaning with these simple steps:

  • Wash and sanitize drawers or shelves in refrigerators where recalled tahini products were stored.
  • Clean your refrigerator with warm, soapy water, clean towels and a mixture of water and bleach.
  • Wash containers that held any tahini or food made with the tahini in hot and soapy water.
  • Clean the dishwasher in case it came into contact with any of the dishes used in preparing or serving possibly infected tahini.

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