Two Minnesota infants have fallen ill with salmonella poisoning after eating a brand of tahini sesame paste that is the subject of a multistate recall, state officials said Friday.
Consumers are being directed to not eat Krinos brand tahini from the affected batches.
The product was recalled April 28 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after the Michigan Department of Agriculture found salmonella in routine sampling. Further testing by the FDA found salmonella in other samples from the same brand, and the strains matched the DNA fingerprint of salmonella associated with a small multistate cluster of cases.
Salmonella symptoms include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can last four to seven days, and those infected usually recover without treatment. However, those with weaker immune systems, such as infants or the elderly, often suffer more severe infections.
Neither of the Minnesota children was hospitalized, and both are recovering.
Samples of tahini from the homes of the affected Minnesota children have been collected and are being analyzed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. The Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed that the infections in the Minnesota cases match the two strains identified by the FDA.
State officials said the product should be thrown out and the lid from the product returned to Krinos for a refund. The Krinos brand tahini sesame paste was distributed nationwide through retail stores. It is sold in 1- and 2-pound jars, and in 40-pound pails. 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.
Salmonella has been on the upswing in the United States in recent years, with at least six multistate food-borne outbreaks reported by the FDA this year. The nation records about 42,000 cases of the illness each year.
More information on the recall can be found at www.fda.gov/safety/recalls.