A popular condiment has been recalled over fears that it might be contaminated with Salmonella. Unlike many recalls of this nature, which are often issued within days or weeks of the product reaching the store shelves, this recall for potentially contaminated tahini, a sesame paste that is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine, is linked to product sold as far back as April 2020, which is almost a year ago.
The FDA posted the recall from Kareem Mart, which sells the tahini under the brand name Kareem Chef. The product feared to have Salmonella was produced from April 2020 through October 2020. The official recall bulletin notes that the issue was discovered after the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development performed “routine testing” of various food samples and found that the tahini was positive for Salmonella.
The company shipped the product to stores in both Michigan and Illinois, so tahini sold under the brand name Kareem Chef is recalled in both of those states as of right now. The tahini was sold in a variety of package sizes including 1lb and 2lb plastic jars as well 10kg metal cans. The expiration date on the products reads 07-01-2022. The company says that a single lot of the product was distributed, but doesn’t offer details as to how many jars or cans that includes, or what size of the product was shipped to which states.
In any case, the fear of Salmonella infections is enough to warrant a recall, despite the company claiming that it has not received any complaints from customers and, to the company’s knowledge, nobody has fallen ill as a result of consuming the tahini. Nevertheless, positive tests mean there is definitely nasty bacteria in at least some of the product, so the entire lot needs to be disposed of.
If you happen to have any of the products in your home you are urged not to consume them. Instead, the company asks that you either throw it out or return it to the store where you purchased it. Afterward, you can contact the company with your receipt to receive a refund for the purchase price.
As the recall bulletin notes, Salmonella is “an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, producing more severe illnesses infections.”
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and think you may have eaten some of the tainted condiment it’s better to be safe than sorry. The wise move would be to contact your doctor or another healthcare professional promptly and explain the situation so that you can avoid prolonged discomfort or more serious health outcomes.