The CDC reports tonight that people in Massachusetts (1), New York (2), and Texas (1) have been sickened by Salmonella Concord – tainted Karawan tahini. The patient age range is from 8 to 32 years, with a median age of 21. Three of the four patients are female. Illness onset dates range from March 9, 2019 to March 23, 2019.
Epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory evidence indicates that Karawan tahini products are the likely source of this outbreak. Three people were interviewed; all three said they ate tahini or hummus made with tahini the week before they got sick.
Investigators with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene collected records and samples of food at restaurants where the ill persons said they ate. The tahini used at those restaurants was Karawan brand. The outbreak strain of Salmonella Concord was isolated from opened and sealed containers of Karawan tahini that was collected at one of those restaurants.
The Salmonella strain found in the Karawan tahini was closely related genetically to the Salmonella strain in ill persons. That provides more evidence that people in this outbreak got sick from eating that specific brand of tahini.
Brodt Zenatti Holdings (also named as Brodtzenatti Holdings) of Jupiter, Florida, recalled Karawan brand tahini on May 15, 2019 because it may be contaminated with Salmonella. Consumers who have purchased this brand of tahini should not eat them and discard the product. Restaurants should not serve that brand.
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