New Zealand Food Safety is urging Kiwis to be “cautious” and isn’t rule out further products being recalled over possible salmonella contamination.
It comes after a multitude of products that contain tahini were recalled due to the possibility of salmonella contamination.
In a statement on Wednesday, New Zealand Food Safety said it supported Life Health Foods NZ Ltd in its recall of Lisa’s, Greater! and Prep Kitchen brands products containing tahini due to the possible presence of salmonella.
New Zealand Food Safety deputy director-general Vincent Arbuckle revealed to AM co-host Melissa Chan-Green the recalled products could’ve been on the shelf for “several weeks”.
“These products have a reasonably long shelf life. If you go on our website, you’ll see for each of the products, the particular date ranges and concern,” Arbuckle told AM on Thursday.
“But if people have any concern at all for any of these products … the best thing to do is probably throw them out, or take them back to your retailer for a full refund.”
Arbuckle also couldn’t rule out further products being recalled but he’s confident they have the majority.
“It’s quite possible because the product tahini, which came from Turkey, would’ve gone to a range of food producers and we are working systematically through identifying each of them,” he said.
“Therefore there may be some additional products. We think we’ve got the majority … but it’s possible there could be more.”
Arbuckle said so far they have no reports of any illness but his advice for anyone that has consumed it or has it in the fridge is to throw it out.
“If you’ve eaten the product and you feel well don’t worry. The symptoms of salmonella poisoning would be flu-like symptoms. You’ll feel that within a day or three days. Many people don’t even go to the doctor as a result, so if you feel unwell contact Healthline or see your GP,” he said.
“If you have the product in your fridge, the best thing to do would be to throw it out or return it back to your retailer. You can check the particular best-before dates on the product, but our advice would be to be cautious and just remove it. Take it back to your retailer for a refund.”
Arbuckle defended the process products go through before being released into the market, saying this is the system working well.
“We’ll always do a review once this recall is over with the producer and the importer to better understand why this happened. I would say that the sampling at the border was a sampling process,” he said.
“So it takes samples it doesn’t universally test every part of the product. The company has done the right thing with their testing. We’ll go back and look at how the system could be improved, but really this is the system working well, it has caught the problem, communicating it to consumers quickly.”
The list of products that have been recalled are:
- Greater! Hummmmus Beetroot
- Greater! Hummmus! Glorious Butternut
- Greater! Hummmus! Roasted Garlic
- Lisa’s 2 in 1 Beetroot Hummus and Kiwi Onion Dip
- Lisa’s 2 in 1 Mexican Nacho Hummus and Jalapeno Popper Dip
- Lisa’s 2 in 1 Sweet ‘N’ Smokey BBQ Hummus and Dill Pickle Hummus
- Lisa’s Hummus Beetroot with Roasted Cashews
- Lisa’s Hummus Caramelised Onion
- Lisa’s Hummus Chargrilled Capsicum
- Lisa’s Hummus Gloriously Garlic
- Lisa’s Hummus Jalapeno and Lime
- Lisa’s Hummus Kumara with Coconut and Tumeric
- Lisa’s Original Hummus
- Lisa’s Original Hummus with Garlic and Lemon Gluten Free
- Lisa’s Smokey Hummus with Garlic and Tahini Gluten Free
- Lisa’s Toppings Creamy Hummus with Dukkah and Pistachio
- Lisa’s Toppings Kumara Hummus with Pumpkin Seeds
- Prep Kitchen Beetroot Hummus with Roasted Cashew
- Prep Kitchen Natural Hummus
- Prep Kitchen Original Hummus with Garlic and Lemon
- Prep Kitchen Tahini
A list of the products which have been recalled is available here and the products can be returned to the place of purchase for a refund.
Watch the full interview with Vincent Arbuckle above.