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Al-Rabih brand tahini may cause illness

3 September 2003

Al-Rabih brand tahini may cause illness

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is warning people not to consume a tahini paste labelled ‘Al-Rabih Tahineh’ because it contains bacteria that may cause illness.

The tahini, known to be sold from retail and wholesale stores in Mt Roskill, Auckland, is believed to be 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 comes in 454gm, 907gm, 4.54kg and 18kg plastic jars under the brand Al-Rabih Tahineh. It has only been distributed in the Auckland area.

The product is now being withdrawn from sale and recalled. This is the second recall of tahini paste since Friday. The product subject to the earlier recall was of the ‘Khyber Food & Spices Tahini’ brand. Both recalled brands of tahini come from the same manufacturer in Lebanon. The Al-Rabih Tahineh brand has also been recalled in Australia.

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 Shefco Cedar Bakery, 827 Dominion Road, Mt Roskill, Auckland, phone 09 620 5400.

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 Executive Director, NZFSA under delegated authority. It is protected by qualified privilege.

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