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Salmonella risk spurs sesame seed recall; few details provided

A new recall in Canada specifies potential Salmonella contamination of sesame seeds, but is vague on several important details.

The recalled sesame seeds include ARZ Fine Foods brand 1-pound containers and unbranded bulk packages of various, unspecified weights. “Industry” initiated the recall, according to to a notice posted Thursday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).

The agency did not name any manufacturers, suppliers or distributors.

“This recall was triggered by the company,” according to the CFIA recall notice, but no company was specified. Instead, the agency listed “various” as the company/firm recalling the sesame seeds.

The government agency advised consumers who are unsure if they have affected product “to check with their retailer.” The recall notice lists distribution details as “Ontario” and “consumer.”

No illnesses had been reported in connection with the recalled sesame seeds, as of the posting of the recall notice Thursday. However, it can take several days for symptoms of Salmonella infection to develop. Additional time is required for confirmation tests and notification of public health officials, so illnesses could be identified in the coming weeks.

“Food contaminated with Salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick,” according to the CFIA. “Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.

“Healthy people may experience short-term symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea. Long-term complications may include severe arthritis.”

Specific details about the recalled sesame, as reported by the CFIA, are:

  • Unbranded, bulk packages, various weights sold through Jan. 23, Bulk Food Stop Inc., without any product codes or UPC numbers; and
  • ARZ Fine Foods brand, 1-pound packages, packed on Jan. 9, with the UPC number 2 25166000569 2.

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