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Tahini brand may cause illness

29 August 2003

Tahini brand may cause illness

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is warning people not to consume a tahini paste labelled ‘Khyber Food & Spices Tahini’ because it contains bacteria that may cause illness.

The tahini, sold from retail and wholesale stores in Mt Roskill, Auckland, is contaminated with Salmonella, a bacterium that causes diarrhoea. Tahini paste is used in Middle Eastern cooking and is commonly used to make hummus.

The tahini paste has been linked to four cases of Salmonella infection in the Auckland area. The tahini comes in 350gm, 1kg and 2.5kg plastic jars under the brand Khyber Foods & Spices.

The product is now being withdrawn from sale and recalled.

However it is likely, because of its long shelf life, that people may still have this product at home. Food businesses may also still have this product. The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is advising anyone who has the product not to eat it and to return it to Khyber Foods & Spices, 164 Stoddard Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland, phone 09 620 4222.

The Public Health Service has informed Middle Eastern food businesses throughout the Auckland region about the recall.

Anyone who has experienced diarrhoea after eating tahini-based products should consult a doctor.


This statement is made under section 37 of the Food Act 1981 by the Director (Dairy and Plant Products), NZFSA under delegated authority. It is protected by qualified privilege

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