The United States Food and Drug Administration, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Salmonella Concord illnesses linked to Karawan Tahini and Halva brand tahini imported from Israel.
The FDA has been working with the state of New York and New York City. The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene tested samples of Karawan tahini and found that the product contained Salmonella.
Based on the positive product sample, the available epidemiological data, and traceback data from the investigation, the FDA has requested that the product be voluntarily recalled. Discussions with the U.S. agent for the firm, as well as foreign public health partners are ongoing, with additional information to be provided as it becomes available.
The label of the product that tested positive identified Brodt Zenatti Holdings, LLC, of Jupiter, Florida as the importer of that specific tahini, but other importers may have also been involved.
This tahini was sold in bulk to retailers and restaurants and was also available to consumers at retail locations and online. The product has a shelf life of two years, so food service establishments and restaurants are being encouraged to simply discard any such product they still have. Tahini is made from sesame seeds and can be served on its own or used as an ingredient in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern style dishes, such as hummus, falafel, and baba ganoush.