May 29, 2024

CDC Weighs In On Karawan Tahini Salmonella Concord Outbreak

The CDC has weighed in on the Karawan tahini Salmonella Concord outbreak. At least four people in three states are ill in this outbreak. One person has been hospitalized.

CDC Weighs In On Karawan Tahini Salmonella Concord Outbreak

The base count is: Massachusetts (1), New York (2), and Texas (1). 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.

PulseNet investigators are using their nationwide typing system to find people who may be part of this outbreak. Whole genome sequencing performed on isolates taken from ill persons showed they were closely related genetically. That means those people are more likely to share a common source of infection.

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.

The symptoms of a Salmonella infection include a fever, chills, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that may be bloody. Symptoms usually begin 12 to 72 hours after exposure to the pathogen. If you or someone you know ate Karawan Tahini and have been ill, see your doctor.

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