New Zealand Food Safety is supporting several importers in their recall of Durra brand products containing tahini 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 acting deputy director-general Jenny Bishop.
"Tahini has a long shelf-life, so please check your fridge and throw out the affected products or return them to the place of purchase for a refund."
The Durra brand products included in this recall are:
- Durra Tahina (400g, 800g, 18kg)
- Durra Halawa Plain (350g, 700g)
- Durra Halawa Pistachio (350g, 700g)
- Durra Halawa Extra Pistachio (350g, 700g)
As our investigations continue, more products may be posted on the recall page.
The affected products are sold at various stores and retail outlets throughout New Zealand. They have been removed from store shelves.
The products have been imported from Jordan and have not been re-exported.
Salmonellosis 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.
"Tahini is a high-risk food, so New Zealand Food Safety has been keeping a close watch on problems with tahini overseas," Ms Bishop says.
"When we saw a potential issue with product from a manufacturer in Jordan, we worked with importers here to ensure they assessed the safety of the tahini sourced from this manufacturer. Testing was a part of this, and the tests came back positive for Salmonella."
We are continuing to trace where this product is used, so additional recalls may follow. Our recall page will be updated as needed with additional products. You can subscribe to our food recall emails to get the latest information.
"Food importers are responsible for the safety of the food they bring in to sell in New Zealand," Ms Bishop says. "And New Zealand Food Safety has recently strengthened rules around imported food, with new regulations coming into effect on 1 August 2023.
"Given the recent tahini issues, New Zealand Food Safety has contacted tahini importers directly to explain the more stringent rules, which include importers having to assess and confirm the food they will be importing will be safe before it arrives in New Zealand, checking their supplier’s food safety compliance background, and keeping evidence of their assessments and confirmations.
"As is our usual practice, New Zealand Food Safety will be working with importers to understand how the contamination occurred and prevent its recurrence," Ms Bishop said.
For more information, contact New Zealand Food Safety’s media team on NZFoodSafety_media@mpi.govt.nz