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Minnesota health officials investigate salmonella cases linked to tahini

Two Minnesota infants have been sickened with salmonellosis linked to eating Krinos brand tahini sesame paste that has been recalled by the manufacturer, the Minnesota Department of Health announced today.

State health and agriculture officials said consumers should not eat Krinos brand tahini from the affected lots and sizes listed below. The product should be discarded. The lid can be returned to Krinos for a refund.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the product was recalled April 28 after the Michigan Department of Agriculture found Salmonella Montevideo in routine sampling. The FDA also found Salmonella Mbandaka in further sampling of the same brand of tahini. The strain matches the DNA fingerprint of a strain associated with a small multi-state cluster of salmonellosis cases.

The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed that the infection in one of the Minnesota cases matches the Mbandaka outbreak strain and one matches the Montevideo strain. Neither child was hospitalized and both are recovering, state health officials said.

Samples of the tahini have been collected from the homes and are being analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Laboratory.

The Krinos brand tahini sesame paste was distributed nationwide through retail stores. It is sold in one-pound glass jars, two-pound glass jars and in 40-pound plastic pails. The UPC codes for the products are 0-75013-28500-3 (one-pound jar), 0-75013-28510-2 (two-pound jar) and 0-75013-04018-3 (40-pound pail). The recalled lots have a code stamped on the lid of EXP JAN 01 – 2014 up to and including EXP JUN 08 – 2014 and EXP OCT 16 – 2014 up to and including EXP MAR 15 – 2015.

More information on the recall can be found on the FDA website:

Salmonella bacteria can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections, especially in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy people infected with salmonella often experience diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pain. Symptoms often begin 12-72 hours after consumption of contaminated food but can begin up to a week or more later. Anyone who believes they may have become ill with salmonella should contact their health care provider.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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