While most of us have a favorite condiment, many people also have one they can’t stand. Maybe you love ketchup on your burger but hate anything with mayo in it. Or perhaps you love regular yellow mustard but can’t stand the honey variety. Preferences aside, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a new warning about one condiment you’ll want to avoid consuming in general. Read on to find out what product is being recalled, and why officials are asking you not to use it.
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Our beloved condiments aren’t immune to recalls—and there isn’t an endless supply of them either. Earlier this summer, a major shortage of Sriracha was announced by its manufacturer, Huy Fong Inc. The company told CNN in June that it was facing “an unprecedented shortage” of the popular hot sauce, attributed to weather affecting the quality of the chili pepper crops. The peppers are a key ingredient in Sriracha, as well as two other sauces manufactured by Huy Fong—Chili Garlic and Sambal Oelek—making it impossible for production to continue.
The company stated that distributors’ orders placed on or after April 19, 2022, would be on hold until after Labor Day. According to The Washington Post, the shortage continues to plague U.S. consumers this month, and Sriracha fans are still having trouble getting their hands on the spicy sauce.
Another sauce will be harder to locate on the shelf, but this time it’s for a different reason.
The beauty of condiments is their versatility: You can use them as a sandwich spread, dipping sauce, or even in salad dressing. Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds and used in traditional Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, is one such condiments. But if you use tahini, or bought some just to try, make sure it isn’t one that’s subject to a new recall.
On Aug. 23, Israeli-based manufacturer Rushdi Food Industries announced a voluntary recall of its Mighty Sesame 10.9 Oz Organic Tahini (Squeezable), according to a notice from the FDA. Affected products are those that have an expiration date of March 28, 2023, marked with a universal product code (UPC) of 858313006208.
According to the recall notice, products were distributed to retail locations in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as Walmart stores across the country. Affected tahini products were sent out during the first two weeks of May 2022.
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The recall was prompted when the FDA and the West Virginia Department of Health notified Rushdi Food Industries that Salmonella was potentially present in the specific lot.
If you’re healthy and become infected with Salmonella, you’re likely to experiences symptoms such as “fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain,” the FDA states. For children, elderly people, and those who are immunocompromised, Salmonella infection is that much more dangerous, and can lead to serious complications or even death. While it’s rare, Salmonella can sometimes enter the bloodstream and lead to arterial infections, endocarditis, and arthritis, according to the FDA.
Rushdi Foods has not received any reports of illness or injury, but if you’re experiencing these symptoms and think they might be related to Salmonella exposure, the FDA asks that you contact your doctor.
After learning of potential contamination, Rushdi Foods confirmed it “reviewed cleaning procedures, Environmental Monitoring Program Results, Process Flow and possible Root of Contamination without any positive findings.”
The company further instructed stores that stock the tahini product to remove any bottles with this lot code from their shelves. However, the recall notice states that due to “sales velocity,” it’s unlikely that affected products are still available in retail stores. The recall also only affects one particular lot, and other tahini products with separate best by dates are safe to consume.
You’ll want to double check your pantry either way, and if you have a recalled tahini product, the FDA urges you to “discontinue use immediately.” You can either throw the condiment out or take it to your place or purchase for a credit or a refund.
For questions related to the recall, you can contact the company via email at [email protected] or by phone at 718-369-4600, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.