Food recall after Salmonella found in tahini

Tuesday 18 December

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is overseeing the recall of Salmonella contaminated tahini and urges people to dispose of any affected product they may have.

The recalled product is 1000gr and 600gr retail packs of Gesas brand tahini (tahin) with an expiry date of June 2014. The product has mainly been distributed and sold in Auckland via speciality ethnic food stores.

Tahini is a sesame seed paste used in many Middle Eastern spreads and dips. It can be used by itself or as a flavour enhancer. Tahini is used in the manufacture of hummus (halawa), halva, and babaganoush.

“MPI wants to ensure any unsafe food is not available for sale and that people do not eat any of the recalled products they may have bought already,” MPI Manager Systems Assurance Mary Western says.

MPI advice to anyone who has any of the recalled products is not to eat them. People should return them to where they bought them, or dispose of them via the normal household rubbish.

“If anyone is concerned about their health, they should seek medical advice,” Mary says.

The recalled product will be destroyed under MPI supervision. For any further information regarding the product recall go to:

http://www.foodsmart.govt.nz/elibrary/consumer/gesas-tahini-recall.htm

ENDS

Editor’s notes:

As a general food safety precaution, tahini should be kept in the fridge and consumed by its use-by date. As with all foods, once the use-by date has expired it should be thrown out.

MPI recommends that pregnant women and people with lowered immunity do not eat tahini or foods containing tahini, such as hummus.

For media inquiries please call:

Miriam Meister, Senior Communications Adviser
Telephone: 04-894 2466 or 029 894 2466
or call the MPI Media phone 029 894 0328.

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